Avoid Summertime Ticks

Summer is the best time of the year to get out into nature with hikes in the wilderness, camping adventures, or even just some backyard fun. However, everyone — and especially parents — should be aware of the risks and signs of tick bites and lyme disease, and know when to seek medical help.
Ticks are such small creatures that they can be hard to spot, and nearly impossible to feel when they bite. It’s important to do tick checks after every outdoor excursion, especially in dense wooded areas or tall grasses. Check first on any exposed skin on the arms and legs, but also on the back, neck, groin, and around the ears and scalp. Don’t forget to check on backpacks and other belongings for critters who might have jumped aboard! If you find a tick, use tweezers to carefully remove the entire tick. It may be difficult as they can burrow fairly deep into the skin. However, doing it quickly is the urgent part. If you can’t do it yourself, find a doctor at a walk in clinic who can do it for you.
It’s possible to suffer a tick bite and be completely fine. However, watch for additional symptoms within a week or two after the initial bite. A red, expanding rash that looks like a bullseye around the point of the bite is the most common sign of possible lyme disease contraction. It’s often itchy or scratchy and might spread to other areas of the body. Also note any signs of unusual fatigue, headaches, or joint swelling for a month afterwards. If not caught right away, lyme disease can get worse and become a chronic illness, with joint pain the most prevalent symptom.
While you should go out and enjoy the summer however you can, it’s important to add ticks and lyme disease to the list of things to be cautious about. It’s possible to have a good time; you just need to take precautions and make sure to check on everything after you’re done with your activity.