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You Found A Tick On Your Child – Now What?

You Found A Tick On Your Child – Now What?

Since it’s springtime, I thought it would be appropriate to write about an unfortunate experience that happened a few weeks ago, when we found a tick on our child.

During bath time, we found a tick engorged on S, one of our 2-year-old twins.

No one in our family had ever had a tick on them before, even our dog Lucy.

The whole ordeal was a learning experience. I thought it be a good idea to share what I learned.

And maybe by sharing, it can help other parents, if they end up finding a tick on their child.

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Finding The Tick

I was washing my daughter’s hair and I felt something at the bottom of her scalp.

I figured she had some food or dirt stuck there.

But, on closer inspection I discovered that this thing was actually in her scalp.

My husband came running into the bathroom and we figured out it was a bug.

I was completely freaked out. 

Not the most helpful reaction, right?

I remembered all three kids were in the tub, so I like to think that I quickly composed myself.

A google search confirmed it was a tick. And, the tick was engorged.

As soon as you realize you found a tick on your child, your immediate thoughts turn to Lyme disease.

So, definitely some scary stuff.

Removing A Tick From Your Child

First things first, we needed to get the tick out of her.

We searched the house and found two pairs of tweezers. But, unfortunately, they were not fine tipped.

Next, my husband tried using our tweezers to remove the tick from our daughter’s scalp.

This first try did not work.

He tried a few more times, but that darn sucker would not come out.

So, I tried using the tweezers to remove the engorged tick. I was unsuccessful as well.

During this whole process, S was understandably crying hysterically. The poor girl.

So, I got some jelly beans (yay, Easter candy), to calm S down.

My husband tried to remove the tick again using our tweezers. This time he was able to remove the tick completely.

This whole ordeal was about a 15 min process.

With S being upset, this led her twin sister and little brother to also be upset.

We had three screaming children in a bathtub. Admittedly, this was not the greatest scene.

If we had a more appropriate pair of tweezers, the whole tick removal process would have been much quicker.

Since this experience, I have picked up a pair of tick removal tweezers for $10 from Amazon.

Now we are ready if we ever find a tick on our child again.

I think it’s definitely worth the investment.

Pediatrician’s Advice For Tick Bites On Children

Now that the tick has been removed, what should be the next step?

With the concern around ticks transmitting Lyme disease, we called our pediatrician.

This is what we were told.

  1. Treatment will not be administered unless your child shows signs of Lyme disease.
  2. Monitor your child for the following over the next 6-8 weeks.
    • Bulls eye rash anywhere on the body, not just at the site of the tick bite.
    • Flu like symptoms
    • Achy joints
    • Fever

A few weeks after finding a tick on my child, I was at the doctor with our son.

I had taken a photo while the tick was engorged on S. So, I showed it to our pediatrician.

She took one look and said it was a dog tick, not a deer tick.

This was good news because dog ticks do not carry Lyme disease.

Where Can Your Child Pick Up A Tick?

Something that was discomforting to us, was S had only been in our yard and within our neighborhood.

We do not live in a heavily wooded area.

This is a good reminder to remain vigilant in checking your children for ticks when you have been outside.

Even if you have not been in a wooded or grassy area, it’s good practice to do a tick check every night before bed.

Different types of ticks live in different areas of the United States.

Whether it’s Lyme disease or a different disease spread by ticks, that’s a good enough reason to check for ticks daily. 

And, don’t forget to check your pets too.

4 Tips To Prevent Tick Bites

Based on our experience I recommend the following:

  1. Check all family members (including pets) daily for ticks.
  2. Invest in a pair of fine tipped tweezers or tweezers made for tick removal.
  3. If you have pets give them flea and tick medicine.
  4. Consider spraying your yard for ticks.

This was a scary experience and we are so thankful that it turns out the tick S had was not a carrier of Lyme disease.

If you are looking for more information, I found this flyer on ticks and Lyme disease that was sent around at my work to have a lot of useful tips.

Additionally, the tick section of the CDC website is great too. 

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what to do if you find a tick on your child