I know a lot about Lyme Disease. As both the founder of Pilates for Lyme Disease and someone who has struggled with the disease personally, I am extremely well-versed in all things Lyme. I am a big proponent of education, awareness, and prevention. Unless you have suffered from the disease directly or know someone who has, tick prevention is probably not high on your list of priorities. Well, it needs to be!
Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are confirmed in all 50 states and dozens of countries around the world. Ticks can be anywhere outdoors, but mainly in grassy and wooded areas. Many people think that ticks are only in rural regions, but the reality is ticks can be everywhere, even right there in your backyard. So unless you literally NEVER go outside, then tick prevention needs to be on your radar.
There are some very simple tips that can help to keep you tick free when you are enjoying the outdoors. I live on a farm so I am in tick territory every time I walk out the door. Here are 3 tips for staying safe
- If you know you are going to be in a prime tick area, wearing long sleeves is a must; especially pants. You can take it up a notch by wearing long socks and tucking your pants into your socks to keep those little monsters from crawling up inside your pant leg.
- Regardless of your clothing, bug spray is an absolute MUST! It is recommended to use bug spray with DEET as an active ingredient. There are some more natural alternative out there using ingredients like essential oils, so you should make a choice that makes you the most comfortable.
- Even if you are taking all the clothing precautions and are lathered in bug spray, you absolutely, positively, unequivocally must do tick checks! The likelihood for transmission increases the longer a tick is attached, so getting them off quickly in enormously important. I usually take a shower as soon as I come inside from working/playing outside to top off my tick prevention routine.
With all that being said and all the precautions I take, I still found an attached tick on my leg just a few weeks ago. A few days later, my husband found a tick on our son’s head. I have to admit; I was pretty upset when we found the tick on our son. With all the precautions we take, I felt pretty defeated and experienced the typical ‘mom freak-out’….that I am a pro at anyway! After many deep breaths and perspective, I realized 2 things. 1. I was happy that we saw the tick because we know to keep an eye on the bite and him and 2. THIS IS WHY WE DO TICK CHECKS! TO GET THOSE A$$HOLES OFF US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Finding a tick on my son was not a failure, it was a success. It reaffirmed why tick checks need to be thorough and done every time you come inside.