JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Since more people are spending time outside, you and your family are more prone to getting ticks. These are small blood suckers that burrow into your skin to survive.
Ticks typically live in wooded areas, brushy fields and around your home. They survive by eating blood and can pass infections from one person or animal to the next.
Ticks are more active in warmer months starting now until September. A repellent with 20 percent or more DEET can help prevent the bugs, but always follow the instruction and never use more than recommended on kids. If you do find a tick, experts say use fine tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin's surface. Make sure you pull upward being sure not to twist or jerk the tick. After it's gone, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
The CDC has some advice on how to avoid ticks. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after you come from outdoors to wash off ticks that could be crawling on you. Parents make sure you check kids for ticks under their arms, ears, belly button, behind the knees, legs, waist and especially in their hair. Finally, tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill any ticks left behind.
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