As the weather turns warmer and children spend more time playing outside, the East Greenbush Central School District wants to share some helpful information about tickborne diseases, such as Lyme Disease, from the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ticks can be infected with bacteria, viruses or parasites and then spread diseases to people. Ticks live in grassy or wooded areas, or even on animals, and they are most active during warmer months, according to the CDC.
Spending time outside, whether playing in the backyard, gardening, camping or walking your dog can bring you in contact with ticks. Be sure to check your skin and clothing for ticks when coming indoors from those types of activities. Ticks can be carried inside on clothing or pets and then attach to a person later.
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent tickborne diseases, as recommended by the New York State Department of Health and CDC:
- Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
- Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
- Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors.
- Consider using EPA-approved insect repellent.
- Treat clothing and camping gear with permethrin. Do not apply permethrin to skin.
- Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas.
- Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
- Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after going indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be on you.
- Do a final, full-body tick check at the end of the day (also check children and pets), and remove ticks promptly.
If you have been bitten by a tick and develop symptoms such as fever, chills, aches, joint pains and rashes within a few weeks, you should see a health care provider immediately.