You just found a tick on your child! What should you do?
First, don’t panic. It’s true that Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. But your child’s risk of developing Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick is very low.
The Centers for Disease Control also discourages “folklore remedies” like nail polish, petroleum jelly and heat that lift the tick away from the skin. “Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible – not wait for it to detach,” the CDC says.
Instead of wasting your essential oils, pull out a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight up with steady pressure. Then thoroughly clean the bite (and your hands) with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Since the parasites transmit over 10 dangerous diseases to their human (and pet!) hosts, it’s important to get immediate care. Early recognition and treatment can decrease the risk of serious complications later on.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK WITHOUT TWEEZERS
- Plastic Drinking Straw with Notch Cut in It
This works best with rigid/firm straws. Most straws are too soft and will bend when you try to pull the tick out. The organge straw in this picture, for example, was really flexible. The pink one worked better in my tests.
- Plastic Spoon Tool
Because the plastic is rigid, it holds its shape better than a DIY tool made from a soft straw.