Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Tick Bite Overview

Ticks are small insects that live in grass, bushes, wooded areas, and along seashores. They attach their bodies onto a human or animal host and prefer hairy areas such as the scalp, behind the ear, in the armpit and groin, and also between fingers and toes. Tick bites often occur at night and occur more in the spring and summer months.

What to do if you find a tick on your child

  • Do not touch the tick with your bare hand. If you do not have a pair of tweezers, take your child to your nearest health care facility where the tick can be removed safely.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly as close to your child's skin as possible.

  • Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Do not squeeze the tick, and do not use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.

  • Save the tick and place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if necessary.

  • Wash the area of the bite well with soap and water and apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.

  • Call your child's physician to find out about follow-up care and testing of the tick for disease-causing organisms that may be carried by the tick.

Regardless of how careful you are about animals in your home, or how many precautions you take when your child is outdoors playing, animal and insect bites and stings are sometimes unavoidable.

By remaining calm and knowing some basic first-aid techniques, you can help your child overcome both the fear and the trauma of bites and stings.

While most tick bites are harmless, some species can carry organisms that can cause very serious diseases. Two of these well-known diseases are Lyme disease caused by the deer tick and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever caused by the dog tick.