First Aid & Emergency + Understanding Insects
If you ever find a tick attached to your skin, don’t panic. There are many effective tick removal devices on the market, but plain fine-tipped tweezers are able to remove any tick quite effectively. Let’s understand insects: the most common ticks don’t carry serious diseases, and most typical tick bites cause no dangerous health problems. But it is of great importance to remove a tick as soon as you have found it. This is removing the tick completely that may help you to avoid many known diseases, Lyme disease in particular.
When you come back home from the areas where ticks tend to live, get used to carefully examine your skin and head for ticks. Of, course, check your pets. They are also afraid of ticks.
Recommended First Prevention: Do You Use Any?
To prevent universal insect bites, DEET is to be the most effective repellant found amongst various lotions and sprays. There has been some negative concern about the usage effects of this chemical; especially for children, but none of the natural plant device products are likely to be so. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn’t recommend DEET to be used on children under 2 months of age. Picaridin is also a plant-derived effective repellant against ticks and other insects.
7 Proven Steps: How to Remove a Tick Properly
- Use fine-tipped tweezers. If you have no tweezers, covering your hands with tissue paper or putting on gloves to handle the tick is compulsory.
- Grab the tick as close to its mouthpart (it is stuck in your skin) as possible. The tick body has to be above your skin. Do not grab the tick around its belly and try not to squeeze it, because you may push infected fluid from the tick into your body.
- Gently pull the tick out. Do not “unscrew” the tick, as this may leave the tick’s parts in your skin.
- Put the tick in a zip lock bag/dry jar and save it in the freezer, if you want its later identification.
- Wash the bite area with much warm water and mild soap. Be sure to wash your hands well too.
- Call the doctor if you can’t remove a tick.
- You can use some antibiotic ointment (polymyxin B sulfate/polysporin/bacitracin). Put a little portion of it on the wound, and no sticking to a bandage will be needed. If any skin itching or rash has appeared under the bandage, then stop using the ointment, because an allergic reaction may begin.
Some ticks are so small that are hardly to be seen. So it may be difficult to get to know whether you have removed the tick’s head or not. If you do not observe any obvious parts of it in the bite area, assume you have removed the entire tick, but be ready to watch for skin infection symptoms:
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck;
- fever or chills;
- armpit or groin pain;
- red streaks/pus leading from the area;
- warmth around the area.
If you have a joint pain, rash, headache, flu-like symptoms, this warns about having an illness related to a tick bite. If you have any symptom listed, or symptoms likely of a skin infection, immediately call the doctor.
What to avoid
- Smoth a stuck tick with petroleum jelly/nail polish/gasoline/rubbing alcohol.
- Burn the stuck tick.
Both smothering and burning a tick could release the tick’s infected fluid into your body.
There are also many tick-removal devices to choose and buy nowadays. If you are often active outdoors in the areas “rich” in ticks, you may want to have such a device.
Tick Bite Instruction Sheet for Mummies&Daddies
*First, don’t worry. It’s true that Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease, but your child’s risk of developing it after being bitten by a tick is rather low.
*To be safe, remove the tick as soon as you can, so as to minimize the risk of infection (it may increase in 24-72 hours after the tick has attached to the skin of your son /daughter).
*Don’t use any folklore methods like a hot match/petroleum jelly in order to kill and remove a tick. They will never get the tick off your child’s skin, but will only cause the insect go deeper and increase the chances of disease transmission.
Unfortunately, ticks can be found everywhere and they are especially active during the summer months. If one of these arachnids attaches you, your children or pet, you know how to remove them correctly by now.