How Can I Protect My Family From Ticks?

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My family is planning a camping trip in a few weeks. What can I do to protect us against ticks?
- Kirk

Enjoy the great outdoors, but don't forget about the threat of ticks. Ticks can carry several diseases, including Lyme disease.

Wearing light-colored clothing can help you see ticks more easily. Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeve shirts and pants, and tuck pant legs into socks or shoes for extra protection. Pull long hair back or wear a cap. When hiking, stay on trails and avoid bushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter.

Inspect your kids everywhere each day for ticks — especially in and behind ears, in the groin area, behind the knees and under the arms. Also remember to inspect pets, clothing, and camping gear, including backpacks and sleeping bags.

Use an insect repellant with 20% to 30% DEET. Always follow the directions for application carefully.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: April 2012

Related Resources

OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
OrganizationAmerican Lyme Disease Foundation This organization is dedicated to advancing the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control of Lyme disease.
OrganizationNational Park Service This site contains information on America's national parks and the many ways you can enjoy the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Lyme Disease Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease in kids is almost always treatable.
Woods and Camping Safety for the Whole Family A family camping trip can be an enjoyable experience with a little preparation.
Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids? Find out what the experts have to say.
Bug Bites and Stings In most cases, bug bites and stings are just nuisances. But in some cases, they can cause infections and allergic reactions. It's important to know the signs, and when to get medical attention.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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