Summer is finally here! The warm weather brings more people outside going for walks, spending time at pools and lakes, and taking their children to playgrounds. It’s also summer camp season; thousands of children spend part of the summer exploring the outdoors with their peers. Unfortunately, warm weather also means it’s mosquito and tick season. These insects can cause serious illnesses so it’s important to take precautions when spending time outside.
According to a new report from the CDC, diseases from mosquito, tick, and flea bites has tripled in the US from 2004-2016. And states in the Midwest, especially Minnesota and Wisconsin, have the highest rates of diseases from ticks:
Ticks can spread Lyme disease, which can cause serious complications if not treated quickly. This article from our Culture of Safety website highlights the dangers of Lyme disease and some of the symptoms. OSHA also has tips to prevent tick-borne Lyme disease:
- Wear light-colored clothing to more easily spot ticks.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck the pant legs into socks to prevent ticks from reaching the skin.
- Wear high boots/closed-toed shoes.
- Wear a hat.
- Use insect repellant; repellants with DEET will be effective against ticks.
- Shower and wash/dry clothes at a high temperature after being outside.
- Do a careful tick check when you come inside.
If a tick is found on someone, it’s important to remove it correctly. There are online videos of ticks being removed with oils or other methods but the best and safest way is to use tweezers to pull the tick out. Getting the tick out/off as soon as possible can help reduce the risk of Lyme disease.