10 Tips For Protecting Your Family From Ticks

With summer in full swing throughout the United States most people are thinking of sunshine, swimming and backyard barbecues. But this year there is also something else you should be thinking about; bugs. Due to the unusually warm winter and the wet early spring in places like the Midwest and Northeast throughout most of the country bugs such as mosquitoes and ticks will be prevalent this year and you need to keep your family safe.

10 tips for protecting your family from ticks - The Everyday Mom Life

It has been reported by media outlets and public health officials that the tick population especially will be reaching record highs this year. For Illinois (Me!) and other areas of the Midwest this is expected to be the worst tick season on record.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of Lyme disease have tripled since the 1990’s and the Chicago Tribune cites that some labs are already reporting double the number of positive cases this year.

Not only is Lyme disease a concern, but last week it was reported that an Indiana girl may have died from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a tick-born illness, and experts expect to see increased cases of Powassan, a rarer tick-born illness that is said to transmit in less time (think minutes) than Lyme disease. It is spread by Deer Ticks now, which before had not been known to carry the disease. There have only been 75 cases reported in the last 10 years.

So, what can you do to keep your family, especially your kids? Here are a few tips we’ve pulled together from various sources to help you stay safe this summer.




Wear long sleeves and pants when in wooded areas

Many of you may say that summer is a time for T-shirts and short sleeves but this is one of the easiest ways to protect yourselves from bites, especially from ticks. If you’re camping or just spending the day hiking this is something to keep in mind. It’s also one of the easiest and most natural ways to prevent bites.

Stay in the center of the path

No beautiful photographs in tall grass fields this summer. According to the CDC, staying in the middle of a path when hiking or in a field will help to prevent tick bites. Since they tend to live on grasses, being aware of your surroundings can help.


Use bug spray with DEET on your skin

I know a lot of people are incredibly hesitant to slathering anything on their kids’ skin – think sunscreen versus cancer debate – but the CDC recommends this to protect against ticks. They recommend products with 20 percent or more DEET to protect kids and adults for several hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics through healthychildren.org recommends that products for children shouldn’t contain more than 30 percent DEET and does not recommend using the products on children younger than 2 months.

The AAP also advises against using products that combine sunscreen and DEET because the DEET may make the SPF less effective. However, you can layer the products and the CDC recommends you apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.

Healthychildren.org has an amazing chart that shows various types of repellents, including essential oils, here. Take a look and save it!

Hey Mom, you'll enjoy these too!




Use products with Permethrin to protect outdoor clothing or camping gear

If you plan to go camping or it you are a family that likes to hike together. These products can be sprayed on your sleeping bags, tents and boots. Full disclosure, I’m not really a camping sort of girl but this might be something I end up using on gardening shoes.

Check your clothing for ticks

You can carry ticks into your house on your clothing. While they aren’t like fleas you can still risk other people in your home getting bitten if you snuggle a kid after being outside. If you’re playing outside just take a look when you come in. If you’re actively doing something outside, like hiking or gardening, you may want to strip down and throw everything in the wash. Confession: I totally did this today after gardening. I also made the kids do the same.

Wash clothing in hot water

Any clothing that was worn outside should be washed in hot water and the CDC recommends during on high heat for at least 10 minutes. The dyer kills everything. See my other bug problem from this past fall.

Check your body and their’s

Ticks like warm places to cozy up and sink in. When outside they live in warm, moist places so it makes sense that they look for these same places on you. The CDC recommends checking the following places:

  • Underarms
  • In and around ears
  • Inside the belly button
  • In and around the hairline. (So HARD with long hair!)
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist area

Other sites have also suggested that you look between their toes, specifically if they are barefoot a lot outside or wearing sandals.

Shower/bathe ASAP after being outdoors

We don’t bathe our kids everyday. (#honestmotherhood) My kids have dry skin/eczema and the bath tub seems to make it worse, but on days where we spend time outside playing – like today – baths are necessary to get the dirt off and double as a check for any unwanted, parasitic hitch hikers. This is also a good time to double check their hair. I’m planning to use the lice comb to check.

Make sure you protect your pets

Just as you can bring ticks in on your clothing, one can hitch a ride in on the back of your furbaby too. Make sure you are using preventative measures for them such as collars, shampoos and spot treatments. And, make sure you remember the date to reapply any of these this year. I’m notoriously bad about this.




Don’t forget your backyard

You can put chemical treatments on your yard that the CDC says will reduce tick population from 68-100 percent. Also, clear any old vegetation, such as dead leaves and grasses.

For more information on tick prevention and how to remove ticks, see the CDC’s website here. All of the AAP recommendations can be  found here. Good luck this summer, friends. May the DEET be with you.


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29 Comments

  • Robin Rue (@massholemommy) June 12, 2017 07.45 pm

    The ticks are SO bad this year. I have pulled a bunch off my kids already and its only the middle of June!

    Reply 
  • Janel Berchielli (@JanelB) June 12, 2017 09.28 pm

    I live in an area where tix are very uncommon. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before in my entire life .

    Reply 
  • Cassie June 12, 2017 11.39 pm

    Wow I didn’t realise how bad ticks can be! We don’t seem to have an issue with them in my local area but having said that I can see that camping and hiking would probably be times they would pop up! Great tips 🙂

    Reply 
  • Karen Morse June 13, 2017 12.32 am

    This is really good advice. It’s important to make sure that you take all the precautions to help protect your family. Ticks are such a headache to deal with but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the outdoors this summer.

    Reply 
  • James June 13, 2017 01.03 am

    I recently saw a documentary about ticks where a little girl had one on her head for a couple of days and it started to paralyse her to the point that she could not move her legs or arms. This is a must read for anybody who lives near ticks.

    Reply 
  • Kristina June 13, 2017 01.15 am

    This is so scary!! I’ve never had a tick bite before or my kids but I know some places where we will walk this summer has them! So this is great on what to do.

    Reply 
  • Jessica Joachim June 13, 2017 02.02 am

    Ticks are a huge problem down here in Florida. We always have to be careful and be vigilant when spending time outside. Ticks can cause some terrible health problems if you aren’t careful.

    Reply 
  • Kristen June 13, 2017 02.16 am

    I am always checking my girls for ticks. It has really worried me since they have been getting so bad. Love these tips

    Reply 
  • Danielle June 13, 2017 02.19 am

    Ticks scare the heck out of me! I remember one day riding the bus home from school and as we pulled up to my house, my friend pointed out I had something black on my chest. I rushed in and my grandma pulled it off. It was a tick! I have no idea where it came from, but luckily it didn’t affect my health in any way. I can only prepare and be cautious with my kids, in hopes that they don’t experience any tick incidents.

    Reply 
  • dearashblog1 June 13, 2017 03.17 am

    Ahh, ticks scare me! Thank you for these tips on how to avoid them and what to do when a problem arises.

    Much love,
    Ashley | dearash.com

    Reply 
  • Cecilia Cannon June 13, 2017 11.01 am

    great tips! we are having tick problems here and my kids are outside all day at sports camp. will definitly pin this to remember.

    Reply 
  • lifeonsouthpointedriveblog June 13, 2017 04.22 pm

    My little guy came home with a tick the other day! We live close to the woods so I find it hard to keep him away from them. Your tips are great though and I’m going to have to give them a try.

    Reply 
  • Ana De-Jesus June 13, 2017 08.44 pm

    I had no idea that it was tick season and how scary that someone died from it that is so sad. Good idea to stay on the middle of the path and wear long sleeved clothing in wooded areas x

    Reply 
  • janella2016 June 13, 2017 11.05 pm

    ugh just thinking about ticks makes me stress out! Thanks for the great tips

    Reply 
  • rhianwestbury June 13, 2017 11.30 pm

    I’m so glad that ticks aren’t really an issue to think of over here as they sound like they can be quite nasty x

    Reply 
  • Amber Nelson June 13, 2017 11.38 pm

    Ew, I absolutely cannot stand ticks! They really creep me out! Great tips!

    Reply 
  • Angela Amores June 14, 2017 12.27 am

    This was so needed. I’ve been hearing about how tick season is really bad this year. Thanks for all the really good tips!!
    Angela

    Reply 
  • Melissa Chapman June 14, 2017 12.51 am

    Great post we had a lyme disease scare last summer so we are trying to be proactive to prevent another. I liked all these points especially to keep checking your clothes and body.

    Reply 
  • workoutwithdi June 14, 2017 01.13 am

    Great tips! I have only once had a tick crawling on my and it was on the back of my neck. Guessing it was going up towards my hot head. I freaked out BIGTIME!

    Reply 
  • Amber Starr June 14, 2017 02.12 am

    Such a great, important and informative post! Ticks are terrible this year in our area and I’ve been super vigilant about checking for them. It freaks me out!

    Reply 
  • Witches Tell The Story June 14, 2017 10.03 am

    This is something we don’t get a lot of here in the UK. My parents live in Bulgaria, and its big thing for them. Great post. I will share this with my Dad!!

    Reply 
  • Sona Jain June 14, 2017 03.27 pm

    I never thought this could be a concern. This is especially important for travel in developing nations.

    Reply 
  • cvnxena June 14, 2017 08.47 pm

    These are some great tips! It is definitely tick season here and we find it harder because we have cats!

    Reply 
  • HilLesha June 14, 2017 09.25 pm

    The joys of summer! I was once bitten by a tick when I was a young girl, but luckily, it didn’t affect my health. That’s one of the reasons why I try to be cautious about protecting myself and my family during this season.

    Reply 
  • Brittany Muddamalle June 15, 2017 01.41 am

    We just bought a house out in the woods. We are so excited but I’m so scared of the tics! Not for myself but for my kids. I’m worried they’ll pull them out before I can help.

    Reply 
  • Chelsea Damon June 15, 2017 02.18 am

    Great tips! Ticks have been so bad this year! I found one on me a couple weeks ago. Pretty sure I got it from our dog.

    Reply 
  • Making Our Life Matter June 16, 2017 01.14 am

    This is great tips for the Summer months! My oldest is starting college this Summer and this is definitely something he needs to know about. Thanks!

    Reply 
  • Dr. Elise Cohen Ho June 16, 2017 03.44 pm

    MY SON LIVES UP IN THE MOUNTAINS HE IS ALWAYS CAREFUL BUT I STILL WORRY.

    Reply 
  • ❤ TheMrsTee ? (@themrstee) June 18, 2017 03.29 am

    Rally great tips!! I always try to prep and wear the best clothing to help prevent or at least minimize the risk of being bitten by a tick. I didn’t know that hot water was one way to get rid of them if they are in your clothes – that’s good to know!

    Reply 

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