The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips to help families avoid tickborne diseases:
Avoid tick-infested areas — typically wooded or high grass areas. Ticks also can be found in leaves, brush and tall grass in backyards.
Wear closed-toe shoes, a hat, long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks. Put long hair up.
Products with permethrin can be sprayed on clothing.
Use insect repellant with no more than 30% DEET on the skin (for children 2 months and older), and reapply every one to two hours. Wash off after returning indoors.
After possible tick exposure, examine the child, especially along the hairline and behind the ears.
If a tick is found, remove it immediately with tweezers or fingers protected by a tissue. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. (Avoid folklore remedies such as petroleum jelly, gasoline or hot matches.)
Flush the tick down a toilet or dispose of it in a bottle filled with rubbing alcohol.
Wash hands after removing a tick.
Seek medical care if a rash or suspicious symptoms appear after being exposed to a tick.