HealthWatch: Watching out for ticks this summer

Tick born illnesses are a hot topic this time of year because there are lots of ticks out and they are in full force. The important thing to remember is tick born illnesses typically don't transmit unless the tick has been biting for more than 24 hours so it really is a good idea to check your kids and yourself daily this time of year. Especially if you've been out in tall grass or the woods. If you do see a tick you'll usually find them along the hairline of the scalp, waistband or other warm areas where the tick can get a hold on. If one is biting the best way to remove it is to take tweezers or the tips of your fingers and apply gentle outward pressure from the tick with the intention of the next few seconds of getting some flesh in the mouth of the tick knowing that you go all the parts of it. If the tick is engorged at all, or there is a chance it has been biting for more than 24 hours your best bet is to keep it in some alcohol and bring it to your provider just in case symptoms develop. With regard to symptoms of tick born illnesses they are really pretty vague, sometimes you might get headaches or fevers, body aches, joint pains but the most distinctive feature is a rash associated with it. Lyme disease will cause a target like lision centered around the area of the tick bite. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever might end up showing some red spots around the wrists and ankles and spreading to the rest of the body after that. If you have any concerns that you or your child might have developed a tick born illness please see your provider immediately.