Nothing can cause a fright like a tick bite. This year the
Tri-State has seen more of the little buggers, not just in the woods where we
expect, but they have penetrated our own back yards. Ticks are on the rise as
more deer that carry ticks live in our neighborhoods and milder winters aren't
freezing them off. Dr. Deborah Rouse-Raines was in studio with tips on safe way
to prevent and remove ticks.
Dr Deb's Tick Prevention Tips
Ticks are the great hitchhikers hoping to latch on to their
next meal whether it be human or animal so avoid their path whenever possible.
They thrive in shade so avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf
litter. Walk in the center of trails and don't allow pets to go off trail either.
Wear hats, long sleeves and tuck long pants into closed toed
shoes in wooded areas or hikes. Light clothing will make it easier to see
Use repellents that contain 20% or more DEET (N,
N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on the exposed skin. Parents should apply this product
to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat
clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents. It remains protective
through several washings.
Treat your pet with a tick collar or monthly preventative
such as Frontline. Check medications specifically for ticks. I assumed my
heartworm medicine was treating for ticks but I needed a separate medication.
3. Tick -Tac -Check
Repelling tick is great in known areas but the most
important tip is to check for ticks everyday on children and pets as they may
show up when you least expect.
The longer a tick is latched to the skin, the greater the
likelihood the tick will pass on an infection. Ticks can spread the bacteria
that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and several other
diseases. Bathe or shower as soon as
possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and
more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. They don't usually bite right
away so you may prevent a bite by washing them away. It is very unlikely any
infection will be passed the first 24 hours after a bite.
Parents should check their children for ticks under the
arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees,
between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
Ticks can hitch a ride into the home on clothing and pets
too, then attach to a person later. Carefully examine pets, coats, and gear.
Put as many of the items into the dryer on highest heat possible for as little
as 5 minutes before washing to kill ticks. If you find a tick on your pet,
throw all the sheets and blankets that your pet has come in contact with
(including your own sheets if he sleeps with you) in a hot dryer then wash.
If you see a tick try to wash it off with liquid soap but if
it doesn't come out, don't reach for kerosene, a match, Vaseline, nail polish
or any other wives tales that you may have heard.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the
skin's surface as possible. Don't grab
the belly because may push the harmful secretions back into the person.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk
the tick. Don't worry if mouth parts remain, try to remove with tweezers. If
you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone
and let the skin heal.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and
your hands with rubbing alcohol, or soap and water.
Freeze the tick and label date and location if possible in
case you have symptoms later.
There is a Pro Tick Remedy kit you can buy for less than 5
dollars that includes a tick remover as well as a magnifying glass so that you
can identify what type of tick it is.
If you are bit, DON' T PANIC! Most ticks do not carry disease. Only
blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and even in areas
where Lyme disease is common, only 20-30% of ticks are infected. Southern Ohio
is considered a rare area. Most Lyme disease is acquired in the Northeast and
Great Lake regions. Ticks can cause other diseases such as Rocky Mountain
Talk to your doctor about using a prophylactic or
preventative antibiotic if you were bit by a tick that has been on the skin
longer than 4 hours or has been on long enough to become engorged, was
improperly removed, if you are pregnant or have serious health problems.
Everyone that has been bitten should be on the lookout for
viral symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, knee swelling, facial
paralysis or rash even weeks after being bit. DO NOT IGNORE ANY SYMPTOMS.
Almost half of people with Lyme disease do not remember being bit. Testing for
Lyme disease is difficult and not everyone will get the tell tale bulls eye
Ticks are more common than ever so make ticks checks
routine. If you do see one, don't panic and run for a match. Use my tips and to
stay healthy and prevent disease.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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