I’m super excited for my new guest blogger series – “Expert Advice.” As a mom, I’m often second-guessing myself when it comes too my kiddos… after all, as a good friend pointed out, they didn’t come with a manual! I’m excited to get some of my questions answered with this new series, and hope you’ll pick up a tip or trick, too! Today’s guest expert is someone I trust immensely – our family pediatrician, Dr. Sandra Truebe. I’ve learned that its super important to have a great pediatrician that you really see eye-to-eye with. And with two young kids of her own, Dr. Truebe really embraces the notion that it ‘takes a village to raise a child.’ She took some time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions about ticks (just in time for The Great American Backyard Campout!). I hope you’ll find this as informative as I have.
What do you recommend to prevent tick bites?
Use a product with DEET (10-25%) – for more info on insect repellents, I recommend visiting the American Academy of Pediatrics’ link to HealthlyChildren.org. (Keep in mind that DEET products should not be applied to babies younger than 2 months).
Tick checks nightly (hair, behind ears, and body) are really important since ticks do not pass Lyme disease unless they are on for at least 36 hours. Only Deer ticks pass Lyme disease (not dog ticks). They can be identified by their black color, especially the black legs. Additionally, it’s important to know that Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics.
What do I do if I find a tick on my child?
Don’t panic! Clean the area with an alcohol soaked cotton ball. Use tweezers and grab the tick as close to the child’s skin as possible, then pull straight back firmly but slowly. Then clean the area with antibiotic ointment. It is ok if you are unable to remove the tick’s head but the body is out.
As a side note, my husband’s doctor recommend the “Ticked Off“ tick remover as a great tool for quickly getting rid of ticks.
After I get rid of the tick, is there anything I should watch for?
Monitor the skin for a “bulls eye” rash (at the site, but can also be anywhere on the body) or signs of infection at the site of the bite (redness/ warmth that is larger than just the spot where the tick was attached).
When should I call you (my pediatrician)?
You should also call if your child develops flu like symptoms (fever, headache, achiness, etc) within 3 to 30 days after the bite.
If you have more questions about ticks, contact your pediatrician, or visit The American Academy of Pediatrics.