When people are working or playing in their yards or hiking in the woods in the spring and summer, they can get bitten by ticks. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can cause a rash and flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself and your family from Lyme disease and how to treat the illness if you contract it.
Lyme Disease Prevention
One of the best ways to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease is to cover up when you go outdoors in a wooded or grassy area. Wear long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, gloves, and shoes. If you are walking in the woods, stick to trails and keep your dog on a leash. Do not walk through low bushes or tall grass.
Use insect repellent with at least a 20 percent concentration of DEET. Apply repellent for your children and be careful to avoid their hands, eyes, and mouths. Follow the instructions carefully because these products can be toxic if ingested. Spray a repellent with permethrin on clothing or buy pretreated clothing.
After you come inside, check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks, especially if you have been in a wooded or grassy area. You may have to look hard to find deer ticks, which are tiny. If you find a tick, grasp it near its head or mouth with tweezers and remove it. Pull carefully and steadily, being careful not to squeeze or crush the tick. Dispose of it and clean the area with antiseptic.
Ticks often stay on skin for hours before they attach themselves. You can remove them by showering and using a washcloth.
You can reduce the number of places where ticks can live in your yard. Get rid of brush and leaves. If you have a wood pile, put it in a sunny area.
Even if you have gotten Lyme disease in the past, you are not immune. You can get it again.
Treatment for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. Recovery is usually faster and more complete if treatment begins early. Oral antibiotics are usually taken for 14 to 21 days. If the Lyme disease is affecting the central nervous system, an intravenous antibiotic may be given for 14 to 28 days.
Order Supplies for Your First Aid Kit
1st Aid Supplies sells products such as insect repellent that can protect you and your family from Lyme disease. You should always use repellent if you are going to go hiking in a wooded area or if you will be walking in a grassy area to reduce your chance of contracting the illness. We also carry tweezers to remove ticks and antiseptic and bandages to clean and cover the area of a tick bite. Order supplies for your first aid kit today.