Tick and Lyme Disease Prevention
Be safe this summer with these tick and lyme disease prevention tips!
By Janice Stanton, health education coordinator, Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center
More time outdoors in the summer means more exposure to ticks, which are also more active in the warm weather. Lyme disease has been endemic in Howard County. Protect your family by following these preventive measures to reduce the risk of tick bites and related diseases — check out the list below.
- Keep your child’s play area as tick-free as possible by keeping your lawn short and free of brush and leaf litter.
- Dress in protective clothing. Tuck long pants into socks and shoes. Ticks will be more noticeable on light colored clothing.
- Talk to your pediatrician about insect repellent to learn the type and strength of repellent that would be safe for your child. Do not apply to your child’s face, hands, or broken skin. Never use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Do not let children apply insect repellent to themselves, as it is toxic when swallowed.
- Check your child’s body and hair carefully after time spent outside. Look in places ticks hide, such as under arms, between legs, behind the knees and even in the belly button. Removing a tick within 36 hours reduces the risk of contracting Lyme disease.
- Inspect pets and outdoor gear for ticks before bringing them indoors.
Symptoms of tick-related disease include fever, aches and rash. Early detection and treatment help to decrease the risk of serious complication, so see your doctor if you’ve been bitten by a tick and experience any symptoms.