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It is not uncommon to find a tick on yourself or your child. While most tick bites are harmless and do not require medical treatment, some ticks do carry harmful germs.

DID YOU KNOW? Lyme disease is carried by the deer tick or western black-legged tick. These ticks are harder to detect than dog ticks because they are much smaller (an adult tick is about the size of a sesame seed).


- If the tick is still attached to your skin or your child’s skin, remove it.
- Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the head of the tick close to the skin.
- 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.
- Put the tick in alcohol to kill it. Don’t use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove the tick.
- Wash your hands and the site of the bite with soap and water.
- Swab the bite with alcohol.

- The tick may have been on the skin for more than 24 hours
- Part of the tick remains in the skin after attempted removal
- If you develop a rash of any kind (especially a red-ringed bull’s-eye rash) the area looks infected (increasing redness, warmth, swelling, pain, or oozing pus)
- If you develop symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, chills, stiff neck
or back or muscle or joint aches.

When in wooded area, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Wearing light colored clothing can help you see ticks easily. If you have long hair, pull it back and tuck it into a cap. Use an insect repellant with 10% to 30% DEET for protection against insect bites and stings, always follow the directions for application carefully. After being in the outdoors, check your skin – especially the scalp, behind the ears, the neck, under the arms, and the groin.


©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA