Ask Dr. Dina: How do I remove a tick?

Paediatrician and mom of three Dr. Dina Kulik gives step-by-step instructions on how to remove a tick, plus tips on how to protect your kids from them.

Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

I’m a little freaked out about ticks. Is it true I can remove a tick if I spot one on my kid?
Yes, you can—and you should. Any time you find a tick, it’s important to remove it right away. The process is easy: Using a pair of tweezers, grab the tick by its mouth and pull it up and away from the skin in a swift motion. You want to avoid squeezing the tick’s body if you can, as this can release illness-causing fluid. Place the tick in a zip-top bag and bring it to your doctor to be analyzed, to help you form a treatment plan. Kids ages two to 14 are prime targets for ticks, which tend to hang out in wooded areas. Cover kids with insect repellent containing DEET, dress them in long-sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks when you can, and always do tick checks after hiking or camping.

Dr. Dina Kulik is a paediatrician and emergency room doctor in Toronto and mom to three boys, who are five, three and 17 months. Send her your kids’ health questions at editors@todaysparent.com

Read more:
Ticks: 6 things your child needs for proper protection
Deer ticks in Canada: Everything you need to know
Your most frequently asked kids’ health questions answered

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