Tick bites on babies? That is a big no-no! The bite may be painless that it may go unnoticed for several days but still, babies should never become a victim of tick bites.
It is fun to take babies for a walk especially on a nice weather. It may also look nice to see your baby having a great time with your pet pooch. But have you considered the threats that could harm your child as you take that walk especially in areas infested with ticks? Have you made sure that before allowing kiddie and doggie play time, no ticks would be joining in on the fun?
How do you know when ticks are biting your baby?
- As mentioned above, tick bites are often painless so you might not hear your baby cry when bitten by a tick. Tick bites on babies often come with a tell-tale sign such as a red lesion or rash.
- Do a body inspection of your baby and see if there are any suspicious-looking bite marks. Check your baby’s hair, armpits, between toes, behind the knees and groin area as well as your child’s clothing – any fold where a tick might be hiding.
- Observe if your child is slowly growing weaker by the day and you can’t find any other reason for it except for a recent possible exposure to ticks.
What to do?
- Should you find a tick attached on your baby’s skin, get it off. Be careful though because unsuccessfully removing a tick completely may still cause harm. When a tick bites on babies’ skin or even on adults’, they tend to burrow their head into their victim’s skin. The head may accidently be severed and be left burrowed in your attempt to pry it loose.
- Follow tick removal steps. Make sure you grasp the tick firmly (use of tweezers will be helpful) but not to the point of breaking it and grasp the tick as close to your baby’s skin as possible. Hold until the tick itself releases its bite. You’ll know that you have successfully removed a tick completely if it is able to move. A still tick could mean the head or some parts of it remain buried in the skin.
- Once removed, disinfect the bite area with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. If and when possible, place the tick in a plastic bag for clinical assessment. This way, a doctor can give you advice whether or not treatments are necessary.
When do you seek your doctor’s help?
Often, a tick bite bears no complications and a parent care at home would normally be able to deal with the situation. However, in the event that any of the following happens, have a doctor see your baby:
- You are unable to completely take the tick off of your baby’s skin.
- Your baby is beginning to get really sick – fever, discomforts, being irritable.
- Your baby develops a rash. This could be somewhere from 2 to 14 days after being bitten.
- The bite area shows signs of infection.
- You observe something unusual about your baby like unexplained fatigue, lack of appetite, weary face and lopsided smile or melancholy.
Tick bites on babies may not show anything unusual even after 14 days. Still, pay careful attention to your baby within 30 days. The dreaded tick-borne Lyme disease develops in 3 days or in as long as 30 days. It is marked by a red ring with a center hence its other name, bull’s eye rash.
If you know that your baby has been bitten by a tick, you need not necessarily wait for a rash to develop before you take any action. You could contact your family physician if you are unsure about what to do. Your doctor might advise you to see your child knowing that children are more susceptible to infections. Where babies are concerned, it is better to play it safe than sorry.
Preventing Tick Bites on Babies
Babies will always be babies and as such, their skin is always a tempting target for ticks. As babies, they would also always love a walk with you and this is the time that ticks could target them. Don’t give ticks the chance to feast on your child by providing adequate protection.
- Regularly inspect your child’s clothing and body for ticks if you frequent wooded or bushy areas or if you have pets at home.
- Always dress your baby in protective clothing like long pants or long sleeves before a leisure walk in areas where ticks might be present.
- Before a walk or letting your baby play with pets, apply an insect repellent on her skin. Make sure it is baby-friendly. Some products are not suitable for babies below 2 months.
Ticks and tick bites on babies are manageable things and there is no reason why you and your kid should suffer tick-related issues. The key is to educate yourself, never panic and know the right thing to do should you encounter ticks or be ill because of a tick bite.