Tick Safety for Families This Outdoor Season

Tick Safety for FamiliesLonging to take your kids outside to enjoy some hiking, fishing, camping or other wilderness fun this outdoor season, but feel slightly deterred at the thought of contracting ticks?  It pays to give some thought to tick safety before heading outside.

These creepy crawlers who like to dig in and suck your blood give most people the heebie jeebies.  Add the grim reality that you can contract a number diseases from ticks, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, or tularemia – and they seem even scarier.

Unpleasant as that may sound, don’t let it prevent you from enjoying the outdoors.  It’s part of the adventure, right?  Ok, maybe not.  But there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your little ones when venturing out into nature.

Tick Safety Tips for Families

So how can you best keep your family safe from ticks this season?  I did some research, as well as polled a panel of outdoor bloggers to gather some of their best tips.  Here’s the most helpful information I found on keeping your family safe from ticks this season.

When Is Tick Season?

Knowing when ticks are most likely to strike will equip you to be most vigilant in your prevention when the danger is highest.

Ticks go through different life cycles.  Humans are most at risk from them during spring and summer months – typically April through September.

Are Ticks a Danger in Your Area?

wikipedia tick

Ticks have 8 legs – photo from Wikipedia.com

They may not be.  Knowing where you need to worry about taking tick precautions is a good start.

Low temperatures inhibit their development.  Ticks tend to flourish and be most commonly found in warm, humid climates since they require moisture in the air to undergo metamorphosis.

According to GIS studies (performed over the concern of Lyme Disease transmittance), certain features are good predictors of dense tick populations:  sandy soil, hardwood trees, rivers, and the presence of deer.  Ticks are most commonly found in wooded or brushy areas, and in tall vegetation.

If that describes where your family spends time outdoors, you may want to take heed of the following advice for tick safety.

Prevention Tips for Tick Safety

  • Walk in the center of the trail, avoid too much contact with the vegetation on either side.
  • Wear light colored clothing (so ticks can be easily seen and brushed off).
  • Wear pants tucked into longer socks.
  • Apply insect repellant, specifically the brands designed to repel ticks.   But avoid use of DEET-containing repellents on children.  (We’ve had success with the gentle Skin-So-Soft line for toddlers… at least for mosquitos.  It also says it works to repel deer ticks.)
  • Try clothing with a chemical repellant (one option is an ingredient call Insect Shield)
  • Cover up skin if possible, wearing long sleeves, collared shirts, and hats with brims.
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground, or on fallen logs.
  • One outdoor enthusiast reports success against ticks in Idaho from using Repel’s Lemon Eucalyptus spray.
  • Always perform a tick check after being outdoors.  The sooner, the better!  Their favorite areas are the hairline and “hot areas” of the body.
  • Don’t forget your dogs!  Be sure to treat them monthly during tick season with prevention medicine – it works wonders.  Years ago, my Husky and I learned this lesson the hard (really gross) way… to the tune of about 20+ engorged ticks buried in his thick neck fur.
  • Put your clothes in the dryer on high heat once you get home.  They can survive the washing machine, but not the heat.

How to Safely Remove a Tick

If you are unfortunate enough to have one of these buggers get his hooks into you, here’s a good article on how to safely remove them.  Don’t panic, this is typically something you can handle at home, no need to head to the doctor.

Enjoy the Outdoors, Tick-Free

Be safe out there this season and have fun in the outdoors with your family!  If you are prepared, it goes a long way towards eliminating issues like ticks.  Then you can just take away happy memories of your time spent enjoying nature … and not any extra little visitors who wished they could tag along.

Please share your ideas with us… what has worked for you in the fight against ticks?

*o*     *o*     *o*

Special thanks to Corey of Backcountry Parenting and Meghan of The Adventures in Parenthood Project for their input on this topic.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves enjoying the outdoors, staying active, travel, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney...

Comments

  1. Thank Goodness here in the Canadian Rockies where I am, we only have a couple months in spring to worry about them. Once summer comes they disappear. I got bit last summer after lying in the grass in April – dumb thing to do!

    • COMtnMom says:

      Well, I at least hope you got a funny picture (and a story) out of the experience? 😉

      Thanks for swinging by Tanya, you have a great blog!!

  2. great blog! what has worked for us is Ava Anderson’s bugspray…catnip was found to be 10x more effective than DEET and much safer too and has the eucalyptus citriodora (organic lemon eucalyptus essential oil) you were talking about too! a co-worker with what they think is the worst case of lyme disease uses nothing else for herself and her daughter! http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/ginger if you want more info let me know!

Trackbacks

  1. […] months when we often spend more time outdoors, is ticks.  In one of my more popular blog posts Tick Safety for Families This Outdoor Season, I mentioned Insect Shield technology as a good option to […]

Speak Your Mind

*