1) what is the best tick repellant for children under 10?
2) what is the proper way to remove ticks?
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.
I wish I knew of a tick repellent for kids. To my knowledge, no such thing exists yet.
How to remove a tick:
With a pair of tweezers that has a flat edge, a pair intended for plucking eye brows works well, grab the tick as close to the entry point as possible and pull the tick out. If you're lucky, the tick is not in deep and the whole tick comes out head and all. If the body comes off, but the head is still embedded, don't dig at the head. Your body will absorb the head.
This is important:
Swab the area with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will kill the bacteria that carry Lyme disease if the tick is found in the first 24 hours of being bitten.
Depending on how long the tick was in you, your reaction could be as mild as localized itching that will go away in a few hours to sever swelling indicating an allergic reaction to the tick. Swelling usually occurs when a tick is embedded for several hours.
1) Best tick repellent for children under 10 is Rosemary or sage oil. You can add it to a non scented lotion for easy and non irritating application. I still spray my children's shoes with Deet, though ticks are becoming immune to it. Best line of defense is also a thorough tick check!
2) NEVER USE A MATCH to remove a tick!! This is old, outdated and unsafe methods. It will cause the tick to release extra Lyme bacteria into the body when it feels threatened!!! The BEST way is to use tweezers just as WildIris suggested. If the head is left in, it is ok because the tick has stopped transmitting any Lyme spirochetes. Another really great tool is to go to a pet store like Petco and get a set of Tick Twisters. These twist the tick off alive and in a manner to not irritate your skin or threaten the tick into pushing out the Lyme spirochetes. Here is a link to one: http://www.twist-it-out.com/TickTwisterPro_Tool.php
Aside from alcohol, Iodine on a cotton ball is great to apply to a bite area. Save the tick in a medicine bottle for testing and watch for any rashes though 60% of people will not rash. If you do, take a picture of it as it can go away in as little as 1 day.
I hope this helps!
author of "The Object of My Infection"
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