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Tick Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Tick Bites Instruction Sheet

Boy, your child's freckles really stand out in the sun — but wait, that one looks like it's moving! It isn't a freckle at all. It's a tick. What should you do?

First, don't panic. It's true that Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States, but your child's risk of developing Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick is very low.

To be safe, though, you'll want to remove the tick as soon as possible because risk of infection increases between 24 to 72 hours after the tick attaches to the skin.

One note of caution: don't use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove a tick. These methods don't get the tick off your skin, and can cause the insect to burrow deeper and release more saliva (which increases the chances of disease transmission).

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: May 2010

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

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

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