Tick and Mosquito Bites
Think prevention! When playing in wooded areas, children should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Wearing light colored clothing can help you see ticks easily. Pulling back long hair and wearing a cap is advisable. Use an insect repellant for protection against insect bites and stings in children older than 2 years, always following the application directions carefully. After children play outside, check their skin, paying special attention to the scalp, behind the ears, under the arms, and the groin. Schedule outdoor activities to avoid peak mosquito hours (dawn and dusk).
What to do if you find a tick:
- If the tick is still attached to the child’s skin, remove it:
- Using fine tipped tweezers, grasp the head of the tick close to the skin. If you do not have tweezers, put on gloves or cover your hands with tissue paper, then use your fingers. Do not handle the tick with bare hands.
- Firmly and steadily pull the tick straight out of the skin. Do not twist the tick, or rock it from side to side while removing it.
- Wash your hands and the site of the tick bite with soap and water.
- You can apply antibiotic ointment to the site, and cover with a Band-Aid.
There are some tick-removal devices that you can buy. If you are active outdoors in areas where there are a lot of ticks, you may want to consider buying such a device.
Call the child’s doctor if:
- The child develops a rash of any kind.
- The area looks infected (increasing redness, swelling, warmth, red streaks from the area, pain, or oozing).
- The child develops symptoms such as a fever, chills, headache, fatigue, stiff neck or back, or muscle or joint pain.
- For more information on insect repellents please see the MDPH fact sheet: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/mosquito-repellents.rtf
- For general information on mosquito-borne diseases: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/arbovirus/mosquito-preventing.rtf
- For general information on Lyme and tick-borne diseases: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/id/epidemiology/ticks/public-health-cdc-tickborne-educational-info.html