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Parent Education

Bug off: Avoid tickborne diseases with these savvy strategies
Lori O’Keefe, Correspondent - AAP News

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips to help families avoid tickborne diseases:

  • Avoid tick-infested areas — typically wooded or high grass areas. Ticks also can be found in leaves, brush and tall grass in backyards.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes, a hat, long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks. Put long hair up.
  • Products with permethrin can be sprayed on clothing.
  • Use insect repellant with no more than 30% DEET on the skin (for children 2 months and older), and reapply every one to two hours. Wash off after returning indoors.
  • After possible tick exposure, examine the child, especially along the hairline and behind the ears.
  • If a tick is found, remove it immediately with tweezers or fingers protected by a tissue. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. (Avoid folklore remedies such as petroleum jelly, gasoline or hot matches.)
  • Flush the tick down a toilet or dispose of it in a bottle filled with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wash hands after removing a tick.
  • Seek medical care if a rash or suspicious symptoms appear after being exposed to a tick.


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