Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Stay Safe This Summer: Know the ABCs of Ticks

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ABCTicksAs you hit the trails and the yard this summer, it is critical to keep yourself safe from ticks.

The ABCs of Ticks will show you how.

Once you click the link above move your mouse over each letter to read the fact on the other side.

Ticks are external parasites that live on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. They can transmit Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-borne meningoencephalitis and a number of other diseases. Although you should protect yourself and your pets from ticks year-round — particularly if you live near woody or high grass areas — ticks are most active in the warmer months, from April to September.

Avoid direct contact – Easier said than done, of course, but the Centers for Disease Control advise people to avoid woody and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and to walk in the center of trails.

Check your body and your stuff – If you’ve been in tick-infested areas, take a shower as soon as you get indoors or at least within two hours

Check your pets – Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tick-borne diseases, so it is absolutely essential to use a tick preventive product on your four-legged best friend. It’s really difficult to detect tick bites on dogs, and signs of disease may not appear for 7 to 21 days or even longer after a tick bite. Nobody knows your dog better than you do — so if he’s not acting like himself, whether there are changes in behavior or appetite, take him to the vet.

Debunked – Remedies such as applying nail polish or petroleum jelly to the tick or using heat to make it detach itself from the skin are just time-consuming and not effective. You want and need to remove it as quickly as possible, so grab those tweezers and following these steps:

Remove a tick from your body or your pet as follows:
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure.
Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.
Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet.
Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Aftermath – If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor immediately.

Click here to read the entire article. Thank you Mayo Clinic and HellaWella.



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