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July
7
posted by: LIT First Aid on: July 07, 2021

Image via Erik Karits

 

Ticks are becoming a growing problem, both in urban and rural areas across Canada. The best line of defense against ticks is knowing where to check for them and what to do if bitten. Below, we’ve created a quick guide to these pesky, sometimes dangerous bugs.

 

Where to Check for Ticks

Ticks naturally gravitate towards warm, dark places. This means that when looking for ticks, you should start by checking between joints (behind the knees, under the armpits, around the elbows), as well as dark spots along the hairline, behind the ears, in the belly button, and between your legs. 

Note that ticks can only spread germs, putting you at risk of Lyme disease, if they have bitten you. If one is simply crawling on you but has yet to bite, it hasn’t put you at risk. Also, ticks generally need to be attached for a good amount of time in order for Lyme disease to be a serious risk. If the tick is attached for less than 36 hours, your risk for Lyme disease is very low.

 

What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten

If you notice you’ve been bitten and you see the tick on your body, the best course of action is to remove it as quickly as possible. To remove a tick that has attached itself to your body, take a pair of tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can. Pull upward with even pressure, flush the tick down the toilet, and clean the bite area, along with your hands, using rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

 

If you live in an area where Lyme disease is common, consider calling your doctor or healthcare provider. Otherwise, be on the lookout for the following symptoms for the next 30 days:

  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue 
  • Joint swelling 

 

Most tick-borne diseases can be treated with a course of antibiotics, and many tick bites don’t have an adverse effect on your health. But if you are bitten by a tick, be sure to watch for common symptoms in the month afterwards. In addition to following the guide to tick bites above, you can also stay safe by learning basic first aid. 

 

Sign up for the L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguard Training courses to learn important first aid skills and CPR.

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