"Hey mom! Do you have any tweezers?"
"I have a tick."
"Oh! Let me see. There's nothing to worry about unless there's a white dot on their back."
"Ummmm, mom. This one has a white dot on it's back."
"Oh! Well, maybe it's not a white dot that's dangerous. I don't know. I'll get the tweezers."
This led to my first ever internet search on ticks. It turned out that the tick that I had, was fine. It made me realize though, just how much I didn't know (or care) about ticks to begin with. We haven't found a tick on our kids yet, so it never crossed my mind.
If or when you might get a tick however, have I got a treat for you. I've put together some helpful information from the several websites that I found. (Yes. My life is full of excitement.)
Keep in mind...I am not a doctor, so if any of this information is wrong or invalid and you are the keeper of all knowledge on ticks (and yuck)...please feel free to correct.
TYPES OF TICKS (ewww)
Lone Star Tick
Lone Star Ticks are found throughout the southeastern and south-central states, but have been identified as far north as Maine and as far west as central Texas and Oklahoma.
The tick will feed on humans, and other animals (dogs/cats) and may be quite aggressive. The saliva from Lone Star Ticks can be irritating, but the redness at a bite site does not necessarily indicate an infection.
Although Lone Star Ticks are not known to carry Lyme Disease, research has found that they may cause STARI, or Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness, causing a rash that may be accompanied by fatigue, headache, fever, and muscle and joint pains. STARI has not been linked to any arthritic, neurological, or chronic symptoms however - and the rash and accompanying symptoms have resolved following treatment with oral antibiotics.
The Brown Dog Tick
The Wood Tick
Deer Tick (Black Legged Tick)
(Lyme disease was first recognized in 1975, after researchers investigated why unusually large numbers of children were being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in Lyme, Conn.)
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may include: Flu-like illness, headache, extreme fatigue, red ear lobes, TMJ/ Jaw Pain (Temporomandibular Join), beck & back pain, joint pain & swelling, bone pain and EM rash (erythema migrans) or "bulls-eye".
Try not to squeeze the body which may push infected fluid from the tick into your body. Do not try and smother the tick with Vaseline, nail polish, liquid soap, a hot match, or any other crazy trick you've heard of. This could cause the tick to burrow further into your skin or release infected fluid, increasing your risk of infection.
Once the tick is removed, wash the area and apply antiseptic to the area. You may want to keep the tick in a zip lock bag if you have any concerns.
Okay, I officially have the heeby-jeebies, so I'm going to stop with the tick stuff. I hope this trusty guide will come in handy for you if you need it, but even more so, I hope that you never will.
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