Tips on preventing and treating tick bites

Tick Bite Safety 101: Here’s what parents need to remember

I hate to bring it up, but it’s time. Summer is tick season, and nothing grosses me out more than these nasty little buggers. My skin is crawling already.

Remember to have your pets treated with tick prevention since pets often bring a tick inside the house with them. (We use Bravecto on our dogs and it lasts for 3 months.)

When you and/or your kids come inside, be sure to check yourself and teach your kids how to do it, too. Help them check the spots they can’t see.

Also, if you’re helping to take care of aging parents, be sure to remind them about this. My mom (who is in great health in her 70s) loves to take care of her potted plants and flowers outside. When she had an itchy spot on her back last week, she asked me to take a look since she couldn’t see it. It turned out to be a tiny tick! I was able to get it off, but it reminded me that older people who live alone will need help now and then to check for possible tick bites that they can’t see.

I found this in-depth, straightforward article on USA Today about what you need to remember about ticks — how to prevent a bite, how to remove a tick safely, the chemical you can put on clothes and shoes to prevent ticks from getting on you, and the window of time before risk of disease transfer happens.

It’s a great piece that taught me some things I didn’t know — like how ticks can transmit not only Lyme disease but 14 other diseases. Yikes.

Northwest Arkansas has so many fun outdoor spaces to explore, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself and your kids (and grandparents) from tick bites you might get during an outing. If you do find one, remember to get as close as possible to the attachment point and (using tweezers) pull straight out — no twisting or squeezing.

Stay safe out there, mamas! Have a happy summer!