Healthy Living: Tick Check Challenge

Healthy Living

Every year when the weather gets warmer, we remind you to check for ticks.

Pennsylvania is one of the worst states in the country for Lyme disease cases with thousands of people contracting the disease each year.

But this year — there’s a new tool in the fight against Lyme.

The Tick Check Challenge from the Pa. Lyme Resource Network’s Dare2BTick Aware program encourages Pennsylvanians to “check your head, check your hair, check your armpits and underwear.”

The catchy song reminds everyone to look and touch to check for ticks after being outdoors.

Timing is key here because the longer the tick is attached, the more likely it is to transmit disease.

“They can transmit something called babesiosis which is like malaria, or the symptoms can manifest like malaria,” said Amy Tiehel, Dare2BTick Aware Program manager. “They call them nature’s dirty needle because they can carry all of these things.”

Amy says there are two preventative measures families should take before going outside — spraying their bodies with a tick repellant and wearing clothing that has permethrin in it or on it.

Amy says the majority of tick bites happen in your backyard. She adds that tick checks should also be a mandatory part of your daily routine when you come in from being outside.

The search for ticks should take two steps: the visual — look at the body, and touch — run hands over places ticks could be to feel for a bump.

If you do find a tick on you, remove it by using pointed tweezers and never use a substance like petroleum jelly or peppermint oil to “smother” the tick. Amy says this just agitates it.

Ticks can be tested for free in Pennsylvania, you can find that information by clicking here along with other import links listed here.

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