A hat keeps ticks off your toddler's head.
Blood-sucking monsters come straight out of nightmares, but ticks are real-life blood-sucking creatures that latch onto the skin, often unnoticed. As if that image isn't bad enough, there is the potential for tick-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, to consider. Keeping the bloodthirsty insects away from your toddler is the best line of defense against these illnesses that can cause serious health problems. It's tempting to keep your toddler in a bubble, but it is possible to let him enjoy the world without coming home with some unwanted friends.
1Steer clear of tick-infested areas as much as possible. The threat of ticks shouldn't keep you stuck indoors all summer, but limiting contact can keep your toddler safe. You're most likely to have a run-in with ticks in areas with lots of grass and trees.
2Make your lawn the best-looking one on the block. Not only will you be the envy of all your neighbors, but by keeping the grass mowed and getting rid of natural debris like leaves, you make your lawn unappealing to ticks. There's no guarantee your toddler can play tick-free in the yard, but his chances of attracting the blood suckers are lower if it is well-kept.
3Cover your toddler's skin when you know he'll be in areas with ticks. You don't have to bundle him up like an Eskimo for a midsummer romp in the woods, but less exposed skin means fewer opportunities for pests like ticks to latch on. Have him wear wide-brimmed hats and closed-toed shoes (like sneakers) outdoors.
4Spray your toddler with a DEET-containing insect repellent before heading into the great outdoors. Your little helper may want to apply his own bug spray, but it's best to handle it yourself to avoid those sensitive little eyes, nose and mouth.
5Go au naturel with a DEET-free insect spray if you don't want harsh chemicals on your little one's delicate skin. Read the label of your natural insect repellent to determine if it protects against ticks.
6Launch a search-and-destroy mission as soon as you get back indoors. Strip down your toddler and look for stowaways all over his body. Pay close attention to places where little ticks can hide, like the hair, knees, belly button, ears and armpits. If you find a tick right away, it may not have time to attach to your toddler's skin.
7Run the shower over your toddler if you've been in a tick-infested area, like the woods. The running water can remove any ticks that haven't attached themselves to the skin yet.
Things You'll Need
- Closed-toed shoesInsect repellent with DEET
- Natural insect repellent