DON’T LET TICKS SPOIL OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
August 16, 2018
With its colourful beauty, moderate temperatures, and evening daylight, autumn is perfect for outdoor adventures. Although it’s great to spend time in nature, plenty of wildlife – including ticks – live there and it’s important to make sure you don’t bring them into your home.
What is a tick?
Ticks are tiny arachnids who attach themselves to the skin of humans, birds, and small animals and survive off their hosts’ blood.
Gross right? But before you lock your family – even your pets – in your house forever, here’s good news…. most ticks do not transmit harmful diseases! However, some do carry germs that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, so it’s good to learn how to prevent tick bites, and what to do if you do get bitten.
Where do ticks live?
Although you can find ticks in your own backyard, they most commonly reside in grassy, wooded areas so if you camp, hike, garden, or hunt, there’s a higher chance you’ll come in contact with them.
How can you avoid being bitten?
If you spend time outdoors, it is impossible to completely prevent tick bites, but there are some precautions you can take to lessen the risk.
- Spray a chemical repellent that contains permethrin or DEET on your clothing
- Wear light colours – ticks are harder to spot on dark clothing
- Cover as much of your body as possible (ie: tuck pants into socks, shirts into pants, pull gloves up under your coat) to keep ticks from getting under clothing
- Do regular tick checks on yourself, kids, and pets so they don’t make themselves at home in your home.
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with fine tipped tweezers, pulling upwards to ensure the entire tick comes out of the skin/fur.
- Clean the bite area and your hand thoroughly with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
- Dispose of tick by placing it in a sealed container or bag or flushing down the toilet.
How to check for ticks?
Ticks are tiny so they can easily go undetected on skin, clothing, and animal fur. Conduct a full body check when coming indoors. If you see any, remove them immediately. The risk of infection is reduced when removing ticks within 36 hours. There’s a chance you may have ticks but not see them, so wash clothes in hot water or put them in the dryer on high heat for a few minutes to kill them. Take a hot shower shortly after coming indoors.
How to know if you should get a bite checked by a doctor?
Usually a person (or animal) who gets a tick bite doesn’t even feel it. You may just notice a bit of redness on the skin around the bite. Observe the area for a few days. If the affected area gets bigger, redder, or becomes a rash, or if you develop a fever or nausea, you should seek medical attention.
How to remove ticks.
At Kids Inc. our campers spend time participating in a variety of outdoor activities. When your kids are at home, we encourage you to get them playing in nature and that you will often join them to create wonderful family memories! Knowing how to prevent tick bites, and what to do if bitten, will give you peace of mind as you enjoy outdoor adventures.