As temperatures rise, it’s time to start checking the kids (and yourself) for ticks. New Jersey consistently ranks among the top five states for new Lyme disease cases. In addition to the tick-borne disease (carried by deer ticks) called Borrelia miyamotoi (symptoms include confusion, weakness and appetite loss), this season you also have to worry about Powassan (POW), a rare and potentially lethal condition. If you or your child experience any of these, call your doctor.
Find a tick? Here’s how to remove it safely:
• Grip the tick with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, as close to the skin as possible.
• Without twisting or jerking the tick, pull straight up until the whole tick has been removed.
• Clean the area with soap and water.
• Watch out for symptoms of illness, including rash, fatigue, fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain or a stiff neck.
Avoid ticks in the first place:
• Keep your lawn mowed and your yard free of excess vegetation and debris—these are spots where ticks like to hide.
• Wear an insect repellent with DEET on exposed skin and clothing when you’re outside.
• Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and tuck pant legs into socks in wooded, grassy areas.
• Be especially cautious in May, June and July, when ticks are most active.
• When hiking, stick to the path and avoid overgrown vegetation, like long grasses.
• Do a tick check on everyone after playing outside. Be sure to carefully check the scalp, underarms and groin, too.
More Like This:
What You Need to Know About the Rare Tick-Borne Infection Powassan (POW)
Six Tips You Need to Know to Deal with Ticks in Your Own Backyard
News on Heat Rash, Summer Illnesses, Bee Stings and More
Think Twice Before Using Spray Sunscreen