While you’re enjoying the great outdoors this season, make sure ticks aren’t along for the ride. Ticks and the Lyme disease they carry are major threats to health, so be smart about protecting yourself and your family whenever you’re outdoors with the following precautions.
Suit up: Always wear long sleeves, tuck pants cuffs into boots or socks, and choose light colors that make it easy to spot ticks.
Use repellent: Insect repellent is a must whenever you’re in a tick-infested area. Your best choice is to layer on insect repellent that’s designed to be applied to clothing.
Stay on track: While you’re outdoors, stay to the center of hiking paths, and avoid grassy and marshy areas. Ticks don’t jump—instead, they hang on shrubs and tall grass just waiting for you to brush by.
Inspect daily: Once you’re back home, inspect yourself and your kids for clinging ticks before bites happen. Adult ticks are smaller than a sesame seed, and nymphs are dot-sized.
If you do discover a tick feeding, don’t panic—studies indicate that an infected tick doesn’t usually transmit the Lyme organism during the first 24 hours. However, do contact your doctor immediately if you find a tick, a bite, or suspect Lyme disease and its symptoms.