Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to remove a tick from your child

July 12, 2007


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.



Linda Endicott 10 years, 10 months ago

Well, here's one that's been circulating around at work...dubious at best...

Soak a cotton ball with liquid soap, and saturate the tick for about 15-20 seconds. When you lift the cotton ball, the tick will have released, and be stuck to the cotton ball.

This method, however, is NOT recommended by any reliable source. Any substance put on a tick that upsets it enough to make it release is also going to make it regurgitate its contents into YOU...which is exactly what you don't want.

Ragingbear 10 years, 10 months ago

What a totally cruddy set of instructions. It is well known that ticks like to quickly bury their head under the skin of their prey. In order to properly remove it at that point, you will need to get the tick to pull it's head out. Applying a hot end of a blown out match to the rear end of the tick is a popular method, as well as applying nail polish around the head, causing it to have to pull out to breathe.

All this article addressed was when it started to grab on, but hasn't actually done anything yet. Those type of ticks can be removed by hand.

Lyme Disease, while rather severe if not treated, is rather easily treatable. If you think you might have it, look for a bulls-eye type rash around the area where you were bitten. Same thing if your feeling flu-like symptoms and joint swelling. The earlier it is treated, the better.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 10 months ago

the reason for grabbing a pulling with the tweezers and not the other ways is due to the fact the other ways make the tick spit the saliva, for lack of a better word, into the skin this can cause even more problems. But no matter ticks are a pest and irratant and really bad this year, so just be caeful and after being outside besure to check yourself and your kids, do not forget your pets everyone.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 10 months ago

yeah just like crazy said, sorry crazy did not read all the post so just repeated you. brain not all there like normal haha:)

gr 10 years, 10 months ago

Rb, did you just make that up or have you actually seen it work?

The times I've seen it attempted, there is left either a live tick with his rear burned off or a dead tick with his rear burned off. (And, isn't burning them against some sort of animal cruelty gibberish law?) Never have I seen one pull out on its own whether burning, using nail polish or whatnot. I've only seen them leave when they are finished feeding and swollen up like a round blimp with their legs sticking straight out their sides. (Not to be confused with some of those things coming out of the fast food place....)

jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

The first thing I thought was, "Turn off Fox."

manyblessings 10 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if doctors would appreciate being called everytime someone found a tick.....I just slide my fingernail under it and very gently pull it out, end of story. There is usually nothing left of the tick if you are careful.

imastinker 10 years, 10 months ago

I usually just pull it gently. The head, along with a chunk of skin comes with it. Then, I flush it down the toilet. It's best to give kids something to distract them so you don't have to yank a whole handful of hair out along with the tick. That makes them somewhat angry.

Ragingbear 10 years, 10 months ago

I used to live in Alabama. Even in the city you could expect to pick at least a dozen ticks off of yourself in a typical summer. I am quite aware of what I am talking about. I used these methods several times on myself.

ksdivakat 10 years, 10 months ago

I guess I dont get what all the hullabaluu is about, I remember being a kid and we lived in the country and so me and my brother would have one about everyday, and my Dad always took his cigarette and burned its back and it released itself and then my mom would clean it with alcohol, we never had any problems with it, and in fact, in talking to my mom, she said that Dr Branson was the one who told my dad to do it!! He was our pediatrician, and they dont make them like that anymore!!! But the point is we turned out ok, so unless there is some mutant strain of new ticks out, I say why fix the method if it aint broke???

Ragingbear 10 years, 10 months ago

It is definitely correct that you do not squeeze the rear. That will cause the tick to shoot the contents into you, which will be rich in any germs or parasites that the tick is infected with.

imastinker 10 years, 10 months ago

Well I always hav a jar of alcohol. I'm just not going to waste it on a stupid tick.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 10 months ago

Uh, guys...they're talking about rubbing alcohol...not your whiskey...

Although I imagine that would kill them, too...

cowboy 10 years, 10 months ago

ah just grip it and rip it ya sissies

jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

Marion: How many limbs do you have left?

Tychoman 10 years, 10 months ago

I thought the tick was removed by Fox about ten years ago? After that crappy cartoon?

gr 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm still amused from thinking about how some of those links state how you should remove a tick.

I mean, this tick just crawled up over your body, perhaps over most of your body, looking for the opportune place to insert it's mouth parts. Mouth parts that may have been in a mouse, a deer, or another person. Injecting who knows what kind of toxins and organisms INTO your body. This tick has just drug it's rear end across your body parts for who knows how long, and yet someone is concerned about touching it by saying, "and protect your fingers with a tissue, paper towel, or latex gloves" ?!!!

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