Most children love to be active and are always willing to play outside. For this reason, young couples usually like to purchase homes that have adequate space before having children; in fact, 59% of homebuyers below 29 years of age do not plan to stay in their homes longer than 10 years. This is most likely because as they get older they want a better home to start a family in. It is important to be aware of the risks that come with spending time outdoors. You can’t keep an eye on your child 24/7 no matter how great at parenting you are; here is a guide to help you keep your children safe from one of the most common outdoor parasites, ticks.
Where Are Ticks Commonly Found?
Ticks are found in every state. Tick populations are highest in warm grassy areas or places full of vegetation. The risk of ticks is even higher when there are many animals in your area. Whether it is rodents or your furry friend, if it is warm-blooded, ticks want to get a meal out of it. They are mostly blind, so the best they can do is position themselves somewhere like a branch with their front legs out ready to latch onto you.
The Danger Ticks Bring
Ticks carry many diseases. In the United States, the most common vector caused disease is lyme disease and the symptoms are fatal if not treated. Lyme disease takes 36 hours to be transmitted to the host, so you must act quickly!
Measures to Prevent Children From Getting Ticks
-Cover up your child’s body as much as possible with clothing like long sleeves and trousers. If a tick latches onto their clothing, it would take time for it to find skin. This means you have a chance to find and remove it before it takes a bite.
-Tick repellants are also a good preventative measure. Only apply repellant on exposed skin, not under clothing.
-Put your children in lighter colors of clothing to make it easier to see the ticks. Ticks can be as small as a pinhead, so they are difficult to detect.
-You could keep your lawns trimmed and keep your child away from the more bushy areas of your yard. Add a barrier to show your child the boundaries they cannot cross.
-Perform tick inspections after your children have played outside and make sure they take a shower. In the first few hours of a tick being in contact with skin, it is still looking for a place to bore into the skin, so an inspection can save your child from getting bit at all if done in time. You can do a physical inspection by checking for small dark specks in the groin area, armpits, underarms and any other hidden areas.
What To Do if Your Child is Bitten
If your child has been bitten, take off the tick immediately. Remove it using a pair of tweezers by gripping as close to the skin as possible and pulling gently. The bigger it is, the longer it has been there and the higher the risk of Lyme disease. If the tick has been on your child for a long time, visit your local physician after removing it. The symptoms of lyme disease require you to visit various doctors of different specialties such as physical therapists, craniosacral therapists and more. A doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) is capable of providing all the care you need for all stages of recovery from Lyme disease. Approximately 11% of the physician population in America is DOs. In the past decade, DOs have increased by 63% and almost 300% in the last 30 years. So you need not worry about finding one. Staying vigilant is the best way to keep your children and your home tick free and healthy.