If you spend time outdoors (like at Outdoor School) or have pets that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks. Ticks are small bloodsucking bugs. Many species transmit diseases to animals and people. Two diseases you can get from a tick bite are Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Some ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see. Ticks may get on you if you walk through areas where they live, such as tall grass, leaf litter or shrubs.
Tick-borne diseases occur worldwide, including in your own backyard. To help protect yourself and your family, you should:
- Use permethrin to treat your clothing prior to Outdoor School. (This can be found at stores that sell gardening supplies)
- Use insect repellents, however if at Outdoor School, you must have a doctor's order to use most of these products.
- Use Avon Skin So Soft or Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellant (These do not require a doctor's order to use at Outdoor School)
- Wear light-colored protective clothing
- Tuck pant legs into socks
- Avoid tick-infested areas
- Check yourself, your children and your pets daily for ticks and carefully remove any ticks you find
First aid for tick bites:
Remove the tick promptly and carefully. Use tweezers to grasp the tick near its head and pull gently to remove the whole tick.
Use soap and water to wash your hands and the area around the tick bite.
See your doctor if:
1. You are unable to remove the entire tick.
2. You develop any of the following symptoms:
- Stiff neck
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Flu-like symptoms