April 07, 2011

things i should have taught my children, but didn't

daughter michelle called me earlier this week with "mom, how do you remove a tick. it is so grosssssssss?" so, i told her what i knew, asking her if she has any vaseline to smother the tick, and she said no. then, i said "light a match, blow it out and quickly touch the tick on its back."

that didn't work. the tick flinched, but it stayed firmly embedded.

she, finally, got it out with tweezers.

so.........i looked up how to remove a tick to see if i gave her the correct instructions.

on one website (kidshealth.org), it starts off with calling the doctor to see if one needs to save the tick, then the following words: "...don't use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove the tick..."(i did not make that up. seriously, look it up)
on another website (about.com) it had this to say: "applying heat, alcohol, petroleum jelly or fingernail polish to an embedded tick is not effective."

so much for MY parental advice.

back in my girl scout camping days (yes, i was a girl scout - nerd), that is how we did it. i have a scar on my stomach to prove where i jerked, when my girl scout leader was trying to burn the tick with a cigarette. i was going to show you the scar, but taking a photo of my stomach that hasn't seen the sun in a 100 years was to scary to post...not to mention the contrast between the white scar and white stomach wasn't really there.

obviously, when my children ask for advise from me, i should google it first before replying, right? or is it alright to give advice learned from experience?

here is how you should remove a tick (taken from the 2 websites above and yes, the advice was nearly identical):

1. use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth next to the skin (be sure that you have really really good eyesight...seriously, who can see the head of a tick?)
2. pull firmly and steadily until the tick lets go. about.com also added not to puncture the tick because there is bacteria juices in the tick......gross.
3. swab the spot with alcohol

so now, you know how to remove a tick.

oh, and btw, i did tell michelle to put the tick in a baggie and google deer tick to see if her tick look like a deer tick to rule out lyme disease. and to watch for symptoms like a rash that looks like a target.

do i get points for that? i hope so.


  1. Yeahhh I later learned from Dru that the tweezer method is best. Haha! Things change.
    Oh, and guess what, I got ANOTHER one the next day.

  2. you need to scout out where you are getting them. they might be in just one location and dru can maybe spray or something?