My son was bitten by a tick and this is what I think other parents need to know
The good weather has arrived which means lots of outdoor play.
Like most children, the first thing that my kids wanted to do was throw on their summer shorts and run outside.
While fresh air and playing in the sunshine are great for young children there are some things you should be aware of if your child is in grassy areas. In particular, ticks.
Last year we went on a family trip down the country in which the children spent most of their time playing in the grass and climbing trees.
One evening my son was complaining about a painful spot on his leg and on further inspection, a relative discovered that it was a tick bite and it looked as if the tick may still be attached.
I had never dealt with a tick bite before so the same relative calmly pulled the insect off of my son's leg using tweezers.
If you or your child receive a tick bite here are some things you can do to remedy the situation.
Using thin tweezers grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull upwards with steady even pressure.
Don't twist or jerk the tick as the mouth parts may become detached and remain in the skin.
Pull firmly enough to raise the skin and hold at this position steadily. (See picture below)
When the tick is detached seal in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. If you should develop any flu-like symptoms or get a rash go straight to your GP and take the tick with you.
After removing the tick wash your hands and the affected area with soap and water and apply an antiseptic cream.
It is important to remove a tick gently leaving the tick and its mouthparts intact. Squeezing too hard can cause the tick to regurgitate fluid containing bacteria for Lyme disease among other infections. It is important to note that the use of heat, alcohol, petroleum jelly or fingernail polish on an embedded tick is not effective.
If you think you may have contracted an illness from your bite seek medical attention as soon as possible. For more information on Lyme Disease see HSE.ie.