How to Protect You and Your Family from Ticks
By Sara Butler
Getting out in nature with your family is a great thing. Going camping, taking nature hikes and just generally being outside are not only healthy, they’re also important bonding activities for families to do together. But along with all the wonderful things that nature brings, there are some not-so-wonderful things about it too – and ticks are one of them. Ticks are concerning because of the diseases they carry that can impact the health of you or a loved one one of your loved one's long-term, so here’s how you can go outside and enjoy yourself while protecting your family from ticks.
The Health Dangers of Ticks
Some people are allergic to tick bites, but more often than not the danger ticks present are in the illnesses they can transmit to you with their bite. These diseases include:
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Lyme disease
- Colorado tick fever
It’s important to look for signs and symptoms of illness after a tick bite such as rash, fever, nausea, muscle aches and vomiting.
How to Stay Away from Ticks
There are many things you can do to try and limit your exposure to ticks when you’re outside. This includes:
- Avoiding the places ticks lurk - When you’re out taking a hike, stick to the middle of the path. Wandering off toward the edge of trails or paths will increase your exposure since this is where ticks like to be.
- Wear white – This isn’t because ticks have any kind of fashion sense and refuse to wear white after Labor Day, it’s simply because it’s much easier to spot ticks against light-colored clothing than dark. If you see one, get it off of you!
- Protect your head – Ticks live in trees, not just grass. It is easy for them to transfer from a tree to your head when you brush up against a tree when you’re out and about. If you wear a hat and use tick repellent on your head and face then you can create an extra layer of protection.
- Pull up your socks – When you’re in the woods you should wear long pants and tuck the bottom of the legs into your socks. This way your skin isn’t exposed to ticks.
- Take a shower – After you get home from your excursion, jump in the shower. This will wash off any ticks you may have missed during your post-hike inspection. Water alone won’t just wash them away, so make sure you scrub your whole body to really knock them off.
Are you itching yet? Well, just remember these tips next time you’re out to keep ticks away!