Almost any outdoor activity can result in getting ticks on your body. They are especially thick in wooded or grassy areas, especially in humid climates. Ticks carry diseases that can affect your child’s health, including Lyme disease. Use these tips to protect your child from ticks while he enjoys the great outdoors.
Limit Home Exposure
You can make your home landscape less conducive to ticks so your child doesn’t have as great a risk of coming into contact with the insects while playing at home. Don’t let leaves pile up on your lawn. Keep grass mowed and keep brush under control.
If you know your child will go in an area that has lots of ticks, limit the amount of visible skin. When possible, wear long sleeves and pants, close-toed shoes and hats. Choose light colored clothes so you can see the ticks if they get on your child’s clothes.
Insect repellent is useful when you know ticks are a possibility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a repellent with at least 20 percent DEET for the best protection against ticks. Reapply the insect repellent as necessary if you spend several hours outdoors. Keep the spray away from your child’s face.
Look for Ticks
Right before heading indoors, do a visual inspection to look for ticks. Shake off clothing outdoors in case any ticks are on the clothes. Take off the clothes once you get inside. Running the clothes in the dryer on high for an hour will take care of any ticks that are left on them. Take a closer look at your child’s body to see if any ticks are on him. Focus on areas where ticks are commonly found: hair, ears, under arms, behind knees, in the belly button. Look in all of the little crevices and hidden spots where ticks might be.
Another way to get rid of any ticks that you might miss is by taking a shower or a bath after coming inside. If the ticks haven’t latched on yet, they should wash off in the shower. This also gives you another chance to look for ticks that might be crawling on your child’s body.