Tick Bites

A tick is a small brown insect that attaches to the skin and sucks blood for 3-6 days.  The bite is painless and doesn’t itch.  The wood tick (dog tick) is up to ½ inch in size, and harmless.  The deer tick, which transmits Lyme disease, is the size of a pinhead.  Deer ticks are much less common in Michigan than wood ticks.

The simplest way to remove a tick is to pull it off.  Use a tweezers to gently but firmly grasp the tick at the head as close to the skin as possible.  Apply steady upward traction until the tick releases its grip.  Do not twist the tick or jerk suddenly because this may cause its head to break off.  Do not squeeze the tick hard enough to crush it, as this may cause it to release germs into the skin.  Tiny ticks can be scraped off with the edge of a credit card.  After removal, wash the wound and your hand with soapy water. 

If you will be hiking in tick-infested areas, you and your children should wear long pants and tuck the ends of the pants into the socks.  Apply insect repellant to the socks and shoes.  At least once daily, inspect the skin for ticks.  Removing ticks promptly prevents the transmission of Lyme disease, which only occurs after the tick has been attached for 18-24 hours.

 If a rash develops at the site your child needs to be seen

Call or Visit

  • phone: (616) 243-9515

  • FAX: (616) 243-1815

  • after hours: (616) 776-7401

  • or contact us via the Patient Portal

  • Alger Pediatrics
    733 Alger St. SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49507