Lyme Disease: What to Do If You Get Bitten By a Tick

What to do if you are bitten by a lyme-infested tick.

lyme disease

I know it may not look like it right now, but summer is on its way. For those of us with kids, one of the more annoying things about summer is worrying about tick bites, and the possibility of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a serious complication of a tick bite, which can have lasting effects that reach into adulthood. It mostly affects ticks in the Northeast area of the country, but is something to be concerned about no matter where you live. Instances of Lyme have tripled in the past few decades, with current numbers at about 300,000 cases per year in the United States. Luckily, there is a lot of date on the spread of Lyme disease, and the areas where it is prevalent.

READ MORE: How to Stay Sane While Traveling with Four Kids

Lyme, which has flu-like symptoms as well as arthritis is spread by tick bites, mostly in the armpits, groin, behind the ears, and on the scalp. The longer the tick is on your body, the bigger the possibility of contracting Lyme, so it’s important to check yourself regularly. If you find a tick, do the following:

Do a breathing exercise, or whatever you need to do in order to calm down. There is no need to panic, and acting too quickly might lead to mistakes.

Use tweezers to gently push into the bite, underneath the head of the tick. The goal is to remove the tick’s mouth, which is buried inside your skin. Do not squeeze the tick’s body, or it will push whatever pathogens are inside the tick into your skin.

Check the Lyme map, published by the CDC every year. If you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent, get checked by your doctor.

Save the tick in a plastic bag. Doctors may need to test it for the disease.

Keep an eye on your health. If you develop flu-like symptoms or a rash around the are that keeps expanding, go see a doctor. Luckily, Lyme can be treated early with antibiotics, and those who seek early treatment often don’t see any lingering problems.

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