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What To Do If You Find A Tick On Your Child

We've heard countless stories about how this summer we're facing a 'tick explosion'. Parents everywhere are now obsessing about how to best prepare their children so they won't get bitten by a tick, and buying up as many sprays and repellents in hopes it's enough to keep the sometimes harmful insects away.

But what happens if your child does get bitten by a tick? Because even after using the repellents and inspecting your child, sometimes you may miss a tick because they're just so tiny. If your child is bitten, don't panic. Here are some helpful tips on what to do and how to remove the tiny critter.

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Don't Use Substances To Try And Kill The Tick

There are a few no no's when it comes to removing ticks. Some suggest putting Vaseline on the tick or other substances like gasoline, nail polish or even rubbing alcohol to force the tick out. We've even seen some people suggest lighting a match next to the tick, but according to Healthy Kids, Happy Kids you most definitely don't want to do any of that because you could cause the tick to spit up, and their saliva could cause potential infections.

Find Tweezers And Use Those

Credit: iStock / andriano_cz

What you should do is get a Ziploc bag and have it open and ready so you can place the tick in it once it's removed. Use a pair of fine point tweezers grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can get. You want to remove the tick whole, and not have the head break off inside your child, although KidsHealth does state this will come out on its own eventually, so if the tick does break it's no cause to panic. You may want to head to your local urgent care to have a doctor remove the remaining tick.

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Slowly but firmly pull the tick straight up and away from the skin, avoiding moving the tweezers to try to jostle the tick free.  Once you have successfully removed the tick, place it in the Ziploc bag with a moistened cotton ball or paper towel.

Watch For Any Signs

You should wash the affected area with soap and water immediately after removal and then apply an antiseptic to the bite site. You can then send the tick off to a lab for testing, and in the meantime watch your child for any signs of Lyme Disease or any other infections caused by the bite.

READ NEXT: Mosquitoes Are Here In Full Force, Here’s How You Can Protect Your Kids

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