Lyme Disease Prevention
The State of New Jersey continues to have one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in
the country. The disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer (black legged)
tick. Common habitats for the deer tick are leaf litter in wooded areas, grassy areas
along wooded edges and low bushes and shrubs. Deer ticks are not commonly found
on athletic fields, cut lawns or agricultural fields. The majority of Lyme disease cases
are caused by tick bites acquired around the home. Children may be at particular risk
because of the amount of time they spend playing outdoors and the failure to recognize
a tick bite.
Use These Steps for Proper Tick Removal:
*GRASP the tick as close to skin as possible, using tweezers.
*PULL gently with a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin.
*WASH area with soap, water, and topical antiseptic.
Never burn, smother or crush an attached tick!
Don’t Forget: It generally takes at least 24 hours after attachment for a deer tick to infect its host with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. So remember: Do tick checks DAILY!
For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/resources/brochure/lymediseasebrochure.pdf
To help reduce this risk of tick exposure, remind your family of these “tick safety tips”:
Before Going out:
Wear light-colored, tightly woven clothing to make it easier to spot ticks; tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks; wear closed shoes / sneakers rather than open sandals; use a tick repellent as directed. Products should contain DEET (for clothing OR skin) or Permethrin (for clothing ONLY). Remind children to ask an adult to apply the tick repellent and DO NOT apply to hands or face. Use products with less than 10% DEET and always follow manufacturers’ directions carefully. Do not use repellents on children under 3 years of age. Pay particular attention to tops of shoes and lower portion of pant legs, as ticks are most likely to attach here.
While outside and upon return:
Stay in the center of trails; avoid low bushes and leafy brush; periodically check clothing and skin for ticks and remove.
Check clothing, skin, and hair for ticks (take special note of your child’s navel, underarm, groin area and behind the ears). If a tick is found, remove it carefully with tweezers. If it was attached, note spot of attachment, mark calendar, and save tick in a jar for later identification. Should symptoms such as an expanding “bull’s eye” rash, flu-like symptoms or painful joints develop, contact your physician.