Further Reading

Help! I Found a Tick on My Child!

by Lyndsey M. Carlson, RPA-C

Exposure to ticks and tick-borne illnesses increases in warmer weather, typically from April to September. Avoiding high grass and wooded areas helps prevent tick bites. It is also recommended to wear a repellent containing 30% DEET. Checking you and your child’s skin and hair thoroughly after outside play is also helpful. 

In the event of a tick bite, although most are harmless and do not lead to disease, it is always best to limit exposure and remove an embedded tick as quickly as possible. If an attached tick is found, avoid submersing it in petroleum jelly or rubbing alcohol. The quickest way to remove a tick is with a pair of tweezers. Firmly grasp the tick as close to the head as possible. Pull the tweezers directly upwards with steady force; do not yank or twist the tick. It is common for small parts of the head or upper body to remain in the skin. As long as most of the head is removed from the skin, the remaining parts of the tick will expel on their own. The skin should then be cleaned with soap and water or alcohol, and an over the counter antibacterial ointment can be applied to prevent subsequent skin infection.

If you are unable to remove the tick from the skin or the majority of the head is left after attempting to remove it with tweezers, call your child’s doctor. Monitor your child for fever, rash, or joint aches and pains after tick exposure. If any of these signs or symptoms develop, call your pediatrician right away.