Ticks and children, how to prevent them and how to remove them

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It can often happen after a walk in the countryside, in the park or in a wood to notice that your child has a tick attached to the skin. If so, what to do? And how to remove it?

What are ticks

Let's clarify: the ticks they are arachnids which in order to complete their life cycle need to feed on blood. They can attach themselves to various species, including dogs, cats, squirrels and even humans.

These pernicious animals have an oval, flattened body with four pairs of legs and a stinging-sucking mouthparts (rostrum). They usually stay on the host's body for a long time and eat only one meal at each stage of development. Those that most frequently attack humans belong to the Ixodidae family.

Ermenegildo Francavilla, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the San Martino Hospital in Belluno, interviewed in the past by MyModernParents.com, said that "In reality, humans are only an occasional guest because, in general, ticks prefer wild animals" .

READ MORE: Insect bites and children, how to recognize them and what remedies to use

In the case of humans, the tick bite, in general, tends to go unnoticed also because it causes neither pain nor itching. "Often you do not even notice the bite, due to some anesthetic substances injected by the animal," said Francavilla.

And in most cases, the bite has no consequences.

The risks of a tick bite

Sometimes, However, through the bite the tick transmits any microorganisms (bacteria or viruses), which are responsible for various diseases. Among the diseases transmitted by ticks are

  • Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis,
  • as well as rickettsiosis or relapsing tick-borne fever (less frequent).

Let's find out how to prevent tick bites, how to remove them and what to do if the rostrum remains in the skin.



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In this article

  • prevention
  • remove a tick
  • the rostrum
  • when to go to the hospital

Ticks, how to prevent them

There are some tricks that allow you to avoid tick bites and there are also others that allow you to identify them in time, even before they can stick to the skin. Here's what they are.

  1. Avoid all wooded and bushy areas where the grass is tall and there are leaf beds. The important thing is to choose the paths already beaten in the mountains or in the countryside and, if possible, avoid sitting for a moment on the lawn or going too far into the woods.
  2. Cover up as much as possible: choose long pants (tucked into socks if possible), long-sleeved shirts.
  3. Choose light-colored clothes, which allow you to see any ticks more easily and immediately, which are very small but dark.
  4. Protect pets with anti-tick drugs. There are also repellents for human use available on the market, but they are not particularly effective.
  5. After taking a walk in a risk area, take a good look at your body and that of the children, looking especially at the uncovered areas. So you can remove any ticks right away. In the case of children, also check the scalp.
  6. Before bringing your clothes indoors, brush them well.
  7. Finally, remember that essential, to identify ticks immediately, is a very careful inspection of the body after each risky walk.

How to remove a tick

To remove a tick immediately, you need one tweezers. It is possible to find various types of tweezers on the market, but the one commonly used for the eyebrows is also fine.

  • Try to grab the tick with tweezers as close to the surface of the skin as possible and remove by pulling gently and firmly. At the same time, rotate to the left.
  • Be very careful not to crush the tick's body, as the regurgitation could favor the transmission of pathogenic germs.
  • Once the tick is removed, disinfect the skin.

Never crush the tick with your bare hands, but destroy it by burning it or throwing it away.

What to do if the rostrum stays inside the skin

The rostrum (or mouthparts) can sometimes get stuck in the skin, resulting in foreign body inflammation. In this case, it must be removed with a disinfected needle, in the same way as a plug is taken. It is important to know that the rostrum alone cannot transmit diseases.

Francavilla stated that "In any case, the organism itself will tend to expel him within a few days."

READ ALSO: First aid, 12 situations in which it is necessary to bring the children

Hospital or not?

It is not necessary to go to the hospital to remove the tick. As things stand, it is above all in the areas where they are most widespread (Liguria, Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Emilia della cittàgna) that one avoids going to the emergency room and proceeds independently.

"The procedure is not difficult: just grab the tick with tweezers and apply a slight pulling and turning motion to the left," said Dr. Francavilla. It takes very little and the animal comes off. Obviously, if you do not feel able to remove it, you can go to the emergency room, but in general you do not need a specialist for this operation.



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