Ask the Expert: Tick Removal and Bite Treatment
Ticks are most active during the warmer months of spring and summer, which is why we see an increase in tick related visits during this time of year. When you find a tick on your child, it should be removed immediately. But how?
The Center for Disease and Prevention explains the best method:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the affected area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet (Tick Removal, 2015).
Once the tick is removed, it is important to monitor your child for rash, aches and/or fever over the next several weeks. If any of these symptoms are noted within several weeks of a tick bite, it is important to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible.
The key to avoiding tick bites is prevention. Ticks live in wooded and grassy areas. Before going outside in those areas, spray your child with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (Preventing tick bites, 2018). Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old or use products containing Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus on children under 3 years old (Preventing tick bites, 2018). After being outdoors, always perform a skin check especially in areas around hair and ears, back of legs and around waistline.
Mary Alexander, MSN, CPNP is welcoming new patients at CaroMont Pediatric Partners – Gastonia. She looks forward to partnering with you on your child’s healthcare needs. Call 704.671.6300 to schedule an appointment.
Preventing tick bites. (2018, May) Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html
Tick Removal. (2015, June) Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html