We went on a great hike this weekend.
But now, my sweet little explorer has a tick bite.
We found one tick several hours after the hike, crawling on Chris's shirt. And then this morning while I was cuddling with Avery and rubbing her back I felt a lump. I pulled her shirt up and instantly saw a large tick and a big red spot on her back.
I freaked Chris out by waking him up from a sound sleep with "Chris, she has a tick!" We tried our best to pull it out but Avery was squirming SO much and crying so hard that we didn't get the whole tick. Not good. Chris called the pediatrician and they wanted her to come in just to check the bite and remove the head if it was still in her back. Off to urgent care she went but then they said there was really no way to remove any more, put some antibiotic ointment on it and a bandaid.
Now, we wait and watch her closely. It was a wood tick, not a deer tick, so the chances of something serious like Lyme's disease is very slim but infection is still a worry. Not a big one, but we need to keep our eyes on the bite.
Things like falls, tick bites, mosquito bites and even more serious things like spider bites and snake bites can happen when you are on a simple family hike can happen. They do happen to people in the woods everyday. But they are no reason to not get your kids out on the trail. Avery will be fine. And the experience of letting her explore by the river, walk through the tall grass to feel the moss hanging on a rock wall and search through fallen leaves to find the best one, is all worth the risk. She is learning, growing and becoming connected to the natural world around her. 100 tick bites won't keep me from taking her out on the trail!! (okay, maybe 100, but the chances of that are slim!)
The Nitty Gritty!
Not sure what to do about tick bites? Heard crazy remedies about how to get the ticks off? Check HERE for exact directions on how you should treat tick bites on your children.
I really liked what they had to say about tick prevention as well...
"You can avoid ticks by wearing long sleeves and long pants, hats, pulling long hair back in a ponytail, using insect repellent and by wearing light colored clothing so that ticks are easily detectable."
Being prepared and educated about what might happen on the trail is the best way to keep your kids safe. Know the dangers, know what you need to bring to protect yourself and know what to do when you don't know what to do!