If your children are like ours, they likely live their days outdoors. Sticks are beheld as swords and queenly staffs. Branches become bouquets and are wound into crowns. The wind-tussled children return sandy, muddy—and happy. Our children love nature and the nature loves them—even the ticks they pick up in the outdoors love them. Because our children rove in the woodlands and tall grasses about our home, we do nightly tick checks and find these (sometimes very tiny) nuisances often. Ticks carry Lyme's Disease—which in turn can develop into arthritis, heart problems, and other serious systemic complications if left untreated. Lyme's Disease is trickier to treat in children because the first line of Lyme's treatment is not recommended for those under 8 years old. Lyme's Disease prevention for kids is paramount. Our tick checks are important to keep our children safe and healthy so they can continue to enjoy their daily gambols in the woods and field.
our tick tips for your own family
1. Keep a tick kit: In ours—our tick remover (we use the small size included in the pack) and a notebook to tape ticks into if the ticks have been attached for some time. Seal the ticks into the notebook without pressing on the tick—Press on the tape around the tick, using clear tape. Some physicians will test the tick you have logged into your notebook if Lyme's Disease symptoms develop in your child. Other physicians opt to test the patient themselves. In either case, this will allow the physician or the lab to verify the type of tick that was attached if Lyme's Disease symptoms develop.
below Ask your local veterinarian if they carry the O'Tom Tick Twister Tick Remover we use to remove ticks, or find it online here: tick remover
2. Twist, don't pull or pinch the tick, using a tick remover like ours made especially for removing ticks. Tweezers can squeeze infected ticks' diseases back into you or your child's body.
3. Check you and your children well for ticks after exposure to wooded areas especially. Deer ticks, the carriers of Lyme's Disease, can be tinier than pinheads and very hard to see without careful tick checks.
4. Check for ticks in a well-lit area.
5. The lemongrass and lavender in in this deet-free, natural insect repellent repels ticks. Bonus: it keeps the mosquitos, gnats and other bugs away for bug-free play!
I just made a second trip to our veterinarian for more tick removers. Not because we had lost ours. I wanted two more. Half of our children were going off to a week of summer camp full of lake swimming, woodsy paths, campfires, and the kind of thrilling outdoor games in the dark you remember when you are grown. There will be lots of ticks too. Each of our children picked out their favorite color (these well-designed removers come in hues of modern, fun colors like orange, light blue, hot pink, lime green and purple). They packed their own groovy tick removers to take to camp along with their swimsuits, toothbrushes—and their stationery to write home about their outdoor camp adventures.
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©heather cahoon • wordplayhouse®