Tick Bites / Lyme Disease
Light-colored pants and long sleeves can provide a barrier between ticks and your child’s skin. Tick checks are important to do nightly on children who have been playing outside, especially in woods or high grass. Pay particular attention to exposed skin, the hairline, the underarm area, the groin and scrotum. Removing a tick within 24 hours markedly decreases the risk of infection.
To remove a tick, use blunt forceps which are available in drug stores and marketed for this purpose. Try to capture the entire tick, including head, using a firm straight pull without twisting. The site should then be cleaned and inspected for remaining parts which should be removed if possible. Don’t worry if there are residual bits. Do not use matches, heat, pins or liquid substances to try and free the tick.
After a tick bite, watch for signs and symptoms which may include a rash, especially a round or oval-shaped “bull’s eye” rash (which may occur at other than the site of the bite), fever, muscle or joint aches, headache and general malaise or fatigue. These symptoms can appear up to 30 days after the tick removal. If you are concerned, please schedule a visit to evaluate the need for testing or treatment. As a rule, we do not treat simple tick bites with antibiotics.