Summer safety tip: How to remove a tick the right way

What is the best way to remove a tick?

Response by Julia Adams, APRN (nurse practitioner for Mercy Pediatric Clinic on I Street)

You should use fine tipped or pointy tweezers and get as close to the skin as possible. Wipe the area with rubbing alcohol or clean with soap and water.

Pull the tick straight out with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or yank it out. Doing that may break the tick leaving part of the tick in the skin. Wipe the area again with rubbing alcohol or clean with soap and water.

The next question is what to do with it after it is out. I know you just want to destroy the nasty little thing, but do not squeeze or crush the tick. That could expose you or your child to possible infectious fluids. You can flush it down the toilet or put it in alcohol to kill it.

You may want to save the tick by putting it in a sealed bag/container or tape it to an index card. The tick can be tested if needed. I’ve already pulled one tick off my child this year. Don’t forget the bug spray and always check for ticks.

To schedule an appointment with Nurse Practitioner Julia Adams, call the Mercy Pediatrics Clinic at I Street at 479-321-3873 or click here to visit the Mercy website.

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