First aid

First Aid for Tick Bites

Scouts like to get outdoors, but in many areas that brings the danger of tick bites. While most tick bites won’t cause more than minor irritation, if treated incorrectly complications can occur.

There are many home remedies for ticks which I have heard varied levels of success with. I stick with the basic method of removing them with a tweezers though. It works every time if you do it carefully.

Here are some suggestions for avoiding tick bites and for treating them when they occur. Use this information with the Webelos Readyman activity badge and with the first aid requirements for the Boy Scout Tenderfoot rank.

Avoiding ticks bites

  • Wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt
  • Tuck the bottoms of your pants into your socks. (Yes it looks dorky, but it really does work!)
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin (Don’t use aerosol sprays near tents. Insect repellent wipes are easy to use and won’t harm the waterproofing of your tent.) Wash it off later, especially from you hands before eating.
  • After visiting fields or woodlands, inspect yourself thoroughly for ticks. They can be tiny and they are very good at hiding.
  • Also, change your clothes immediately after visiting a tick infested area. Wash them immediately.

Removing ticks and treating bites

  • If the tick is already attached to your skin, remove it with tweezers.
  • Pull it off gently. If you are too rough with it, it could leave it’s mouth in your skin which can cause infection.
  • After removing the tick, wash the area with soap and water and apply an antiseptic. Wash your hands also.
  • If a rash develops in the area of the bite or if it looks like it is becoming infected, seek medical attention.

One Response to First Aid for Tick Bites

  1. Graham Douglas-Meyer November 8, 2016 at 6:34 AM #

    This is no longer the acceptable method for removing ticks as the use of tweezers is more likely to cause the contents of the tick to be injected into your bloodstream.

    When Ticks have embedded their heads in your body, to feed, they are breathing through the rear part of their bodies. If you have oil (Olive oils or other cooking oils), petroleum jelly (Vaseline) handy, covering the visible part of the tick with a blob of either, and wait. The tick will actually back out of the skin to be able to breathe again.

    Then you should ensure you capture the tick with tweezers. place it into a small bag or container and freeze it; so that you can bring it to a medical professional.

    There are products that you can purchase to freeze the tick in situ. Or you can purchase a pyrethrum cream from the pharmacy for juvenile ticks.

    But, as Scouts, we are supposed to “Be Prepared” at the very least a basic level.

    However, tweezers should not be recommended as they are one of the reasons that conditions like Lyme Disease and MMA; the prevalence of both of these can be greatly decreased through good tick first aid and management.

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