Melinda Winterscheid, M.D.
A tick is a bug that attaches to the skin and feeds on the blood of humans and animals. The bite is usually painless and doesn't itch. Ticks can cause serious infections and the risk of human infection is greatest in late spring and summer. Boys Town Pediatrics discusses common types of ticks, prevention and treatment for tick bites.
Because a tick bite is painless and doesn't itch, your child will probably not know the tick is there. Favorite hiding places include the hair, behind the ears, neck, armpit and groin. Ticks waits for a host in tall grasses and shrubs on well-used paths. Be aware of these areas and be cautious when you walk, camp or hunt in the woods. Try to stay on trails where paths are free of grassy plants.
Check for Ticks. A tick preparing to feed can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours to begin the process so it is important to check every couple of hours. Use the buddy system and remove ticks on any clothing or exposed skin immediately. Also, check your pets for ticks. After heading home, check the body and take a shower to wash away any ticks not firmly attached to the skin.
Removing a tick promptly may prevent infection because transmission of Lyme disease requires at least 24 hours of feeding and the tick is easier to remove before it becomes firmly attached.
If your child develops a rash or an infection occurs, consult with your physician immediately.