Boy, your child's freckles really stand out in the sun - but wait, that one looks like it's moving! It isn't a freckle at all. It's a tick. What should you do?
First, don't panic. It's true that Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States, but your child's risk of developing Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick is very low.
If you find a tick on your child, first call your child's doctor. He or she may want you to save the tick after removal so that it may be identified. You can put the tick in a jar of alcohol to kill it and preserve it for identification later, but don't use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove a tick.
To remove a tick, follow these steps:
¢ Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to your child's skin.
¢ Pull firmly and steadily until the tick lets go of the skin.
¢ Release the tick into a jar of alcohol.
¢ Swab the bite site with alcohol.
To be safe, you'll want to remove the tick as soon as possible because risk of infection increases between 24 to 72 hours after the tick attaches to the skin.