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Removing a Tick Safely

An expert explains the easiest way to remove a tick. Video courtesy of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

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You know, ticks are fairly common. Folks all often ask about how you should be taking them out safely. The easiest way to take them out is to get a pair of tweezers, if you have them, and to just gently grabs the body of the tick and pull upwards with some general constant pressure. The ticks tend to release with that fairly quickly. If there's any portion left, you can use the end of the tweezers to take those out. Afterwards, you wanna make sure that you clean the area with alcohol, iodine preparation, or soap and water. And be sure to wash your hands very carefully afterwards. Now, you'll wanna watch your child over the next two weeks and make sure that they're not developing any redness, or rash, or fever. If so, you need to see your doctor and discuss that with them. If you don't have tweezers, you can use a piece of tissue or cotton. Grab the body of the tick and gently pull up. And if you even don't have those, use your hands to do that, again gently, without squeezing too hard. And be sure to wash your hands really well afterwards. You know that there are several folk remedies that you've heard about as far as painting the tick with fingernail polish, maybe putting on soap, or even peanut butter. And while you may have heard from your grandmother that these work very well, in fact, studies have shown that they just make the tick burrow even further into the skin, making it harder to remove. And we certainly don't want that. Again, if you have any questions, please contact your pediatrician.