It is finally getting warmer. Yesterday was 83 degrees at our house! After a long and very cold winter, we are excited to get outside and run. But warm weather means one thing that outdoor-loving families like ours absolutely dread: Ticks. I hate ticks. I hate the thought of ticks. Last year we only had to pull one out of Alice’s belly button and now she is scared of the “bitey-bugs”. You might think you have nothing to worry about because you aren’t hiking in the woods, but this tick was from our backyard, about 2 days after the grass was mowed. Ticks are a real threat to summertime fun. The CDC warns that Tick bites are on the rise, and along with it tickborne illnesses.
For this reason, I recommend everyone get a Tick Kit together right now. Yes, right this second. You probably have most of these things around your home, although you might want to purchase a few extras and throw them in your car, diaper bag, or purse (or all of the above). You could wait until you have a tick and then run around trying to find all this stuff, but believe me, when you see that little black spec attached to your kid’s body, you want it off, now!
So here is what you will need
The first thing you will want to do is get that tick out. For this, you will need tweezers of some sort. When removing a tick, get a firm but gentle grasp on the whole body and slowly pull straight out.
You know you have tweezers around your house, probably like 10 of them (maybe this is just my house)
You could also get one of the many types of specialty designed tick removers.
I like this one and it includes a tick identification guide, which is super handy.
Index cards or post-it notes, Tape, and a pen or marker
All these things are for one purpose, to tape the tick to the post-it or card and write when and where you pulled the tick from. This isn’t a necessity but it does make it easier if your child (or you or pet) starts having symptoms to identify the tick. Having the date will be an easier reminder of how many days it has been
Alcohol Wipes or Sanitizer
After the tick is removed, clean wound with alcohol.
Band-aids, stickers, or suckers
While it probably isn’t necessary to put a band-aid on the wound (it might be, but most of the time cleaning them will stop bleeding). If you have spent any time with little kids, you know band-aids are for boo-boos and kids love them. My kids also feel better with stickers or suckers, so having these on hand will help make the whole tick-removal process a little less painful.
This isn’t necessary, but If you are like me you will want to know what kind of tick you have and what kind of diseases it might carry. So having a tick identification chart isn’t a bad idea. Here is a page that has nice clear pictures
If you want to see a list of diseases carried by ticks check here for the CDC’s List
Hopefully, you never have to deal with ticks, but remember, while very gross, it usually isn’t too big of a deal. If you are in this situation, keep calm and remember to monitor the spot for a few weeks and go to the doctor if anything looks off.