Prevention: Unlike easy-to-spot dog ticks, deer ticks are only about as big as a sesame seed and can carry Lyme disease (and other tick-borne illnesses). Tell your kids to wear long sleeves and to tuck their pants into socks. Use repellents containing DEET (see the Mosquitoes section, previous page). Products containing permethrin, which you apply only on clothing, not on skin, kill ticks on contact and are safe for use on children's clothes. Once kids come inside, do a thorough tick check -- inspecting their scalp too.
Treatment: Most tick bites are harmless, but adults should remove a dog tick by grabbing its mouth with a pair of tweezers and pulling it out straight. Scrape off a tiny deer tick with a fingernail and put it in a jar to show to a doctor. Wash the bite area (and your hands) with soap and water. Call the doctor if you can't remove the tick, if any kind of rash develops, or if your child has joint pain or flulike symptoms. Call 911 if your child has a severe headache, chest pain, or trouble breathing.