Few insects inspire fear like ticks. Partially because they look a bit like tiny spiders, but even more because we know they latch on to us, suck our blood, and potentially leave behind a host of different tick-borne diseases; just the thought of a tick can make your skin crawl.
For most people, the obvious answer is to avoid them. But when you are a parent, especially a parent with children who enjoy playing outdoors, there is an ever-present threat of one of the little monsters attacking your little monster.
So how do you keep your kids safe from ticks? As with most insect bite prevention, the key is planning.
- First, when your children go outside, know where they will be and evaluate the risk. While your backyard might not seem like a haven for ticks, you might be mistaken. The first step in keeping kids safe is ensuring your yard is not hospitable to ticks.
The Centers for Disease Control suggests frequently mowing, keeping leaves raked and wood neatly stacked in a sunny, dry place. They also say to keep swings, monkey bars, and other play equipment in bright areas, not under a shade tree. Remember that play equipment in the sun can get hot and cause burns.
- The next step in preventing ticks on your child is to clothe them appropriately. It’s time to forgo favorite colors that are dark and allow bugs to hide. Instead, opt for light-colored clothing and closed-toe shoes. Wearing a hat is always a good idea when under trees and staying out of high weeds.
- The third step to keeping your children safe during tick season is learning to perform a good tick check and safely remove a tick found on your child.
Every time your child comes in from the outdoors, it’s a good idea to do a quick visual inspection to look for ticks.
Not sure how to check for ticks on a child? This YouTube tutorial can help. The key is to inspect their hairline and all the crevices an insect might be able to hide in. Often ticks are found on the scalp or in the armpits, but the mother in the video found a tick in her son’s belly button.
One way to help prevent a tick from latching onto your child is to have them take a bath or shower as soon as they enter. This also helps get rid of any allergens they pick up while outside.
What to do ff I find a tick on my child? That’s where the fourth step comes in: don’t panic.
Yes, ticks in New York can carry disease, but getting rid of the tick as quickly as possible is essential. Remove the tick from your child, and then worry about the consequences.
Grab a pair of tweezers and a plastic bag. Grasp the tick as close to the head as possible and pull it directly away from the skin. Put the tick in the plastic bag, rinse the wound with soap and water or an antiseptic and then call your pediatrician’s office for advice. Some doctors may want to see the tick to determine the chances of it making your child sick and recommend any follow-up treatment.
- The fifth step in preventing ticks on your children this summer should be your first step. Call East End Tick Control and talk to us about tick prevention treatment for your property. You’ll still want to be careful and use insect repellent, but you’ll sleep a lot easier if you know you’ve done all you can to keep ticks out of your yard and off your kids.
Prevent Ticks by Calling East End Tick Control
Although Lyme disease is highly treatable, prevention is the best cure. Professional tick mitigation is one of the most effective ways to avoid these pests on your property. Since 1997, East End Tick and Mosquito Control® have been Suffolk County’s most trusted tick control company. For 25 years, we use the most effective extermination methods to protect yourself and your family. Request a free estimate now or call our Southampton office at (631) 287-9700, our East Hampton office at (631) 324-9700, or our Southold office at (631) 765-9700.