Fact Sheet For Parents
Hunterdon County continues to have one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country. View the Lyme Disease Prevention Fact Sheet for Parents (PDF). The disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer (black-legged) tick. Common habitats for the deer tick are leaf litter in wooded areas, grassy areas along wooded edges and low bushes and shrubs. Deer ticks are not commonly found on athletic fields, cut lawns, or agricultural fields. The majority of Lyme Disease cases are "caught" around the home. Children may be at particular risk because of the amount of time they spend playing outdoors. To help reduce this risk of tick exposure, remind your family of these "tick-safety tips":
Before Going out:
- Wear light‐colored, tightly woven clothing to make it easier to spot ticks
- Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks
- Wear closed shoes/sneakers rather than open sandals
- Use a tick repellent as directed
- Products should contain DEET (for clothing OR skin) or Permethrin (for clothing only)
- Use products with less than 10% DEET
- Remind children to ask an adult to apply the tick repellent and do not apply to hands or face
- Pay particular attention to tops of shoes and lower portion of pant legs, as ticks are most likely to attach here
- Follow manufacturer's directions carefully
- Do not use it on children under 3 years of age.
While outside stay in the center of trails; avoid low bushes and leafy brush; periodically check clothing and skin for ticks and remove.
Upon return check clothing, skin, and hair for ticks (take special note of your child's navel, underarm, groin area, and behind the ears). If a tick is found, remove it carefully with tweezers. If it was attached, note the spot of attachment, mark the calendar, and save the tick in a jar for later identification. Should symptoms such as an expanding "bull's eye" rash, flu-like symptoms or painful joints develop, contact your physician.
Use these steps for proper tick removal:
- Grasp tick as close to the skin as possible, using tweezers.
- Pull gently with a steady, backward pressure. Be patient!
- Wash the area with soap, water, and topical antiseptic.
Remember: Never burn, smother or crush a tick! This can increase your risk for Lyme disease.
Don’t Forget It generally takes 36 hours for a deer tick to infect its host with the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. So remember to do tick checks daily!