The best way to remove ticks is to use a wooden match, spark the match let burn for a short moment and then touch it to the back of the tick. The child (or subject) will feel no pain as the tick releases its hold on the subject. Many children are afraid of this but it really works best!
If you have been bit by a tick it is important to pay attention to the location. Lime Disease can be carried by various types of ticks including the most common deer ticks. If the point where the tick was located starts to get red or inflamed after estimated 6hours after the tick bit the subject you want to go to the Emergency Room. Again this is 6 hours after you obtained the tick, not after it was removed. Lime Disease is easily taken care of with simple anti-biotics.
As for tick repellent. This is hard to answer many people use deet, but I am an avid hiker and assistant boy scout leader and I use 100 deet. I have seen bugs land on it and still bite me. :( So sometimes there is not much you can do.
My best advice is to dress in layers. Ticks do not like having to work really hard to feed. Tuck your shirt in to your pants, use a belt, tie off the bottom of your pant legs, or tuck in boots. Wear a hat.
A good friend of mine believes a diet rich in B6 vitamin will help protect you from bug bites also. This is unconfirmed however.