I had experienced ticks when I was a kid from camping or hiking in Missouri, but had not really thought about them in a long time. Shortly after moving to New York state, however, I was reminded of ticks. They are a big problem here. Not surprising, the area is mountainous and foresty (are those words?). The biggest issue is that they can transfer Lyme disease and other illnesses that can be fatal.
All it takes to get a tick is to brush up against some foliage as you are walking. If that tick gets to your skin and attaches itself, you only have about a day or so before any disease it is carrying is transferred to you. So I thought I would share some information.
- Use bug repellent
- Wear light colored clothing
- Wear pants and tuck them into your socks
- Avoid brushing up against plants, trees or other foilage
- Check yourself, partner, friends and children within 24 hours of first exposure to nature
- For more recommendations, see the CDC website
What to do if you have a tick resources:
Senator Serino here in New York leads the task force on Lyme and tick-borne diseases and she even held an event for parents and children at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum. Many state and national parks have events too. These are excellent opportunities to have a professional address your questions and concerns.
Recently, someone we know’s child contracted Lyme disease as well as another disease from a tick bite she got on a camping trip. Thankfully, she is responding well to treatment. It is very important to know that you can still enjoy nature with the right knowledge about safety.