It is tick season in Central Minnesota.  Dr. David Smith from Sartell Pediatrics joined me on WJON for our Health Matters program today.  He gave me suggestions on how to avoid both deer and wood ticks. Smith says deer ticks are smaller but yet more dangerous than wood ticks. He says bug spray with deet can be most effective when looking for prevention from ticks.  Smith says it make the most sense to apply this spray in the evening when ticks and mosquitoes are most prevalent.  He says it is not a problem to combine sun screen with bug spray but he says sun screen should be reapplied more often.

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When children come in for the night Smith suggests kids getting checked for ticks and when ticks are discovered to remove them with a tweezers and to make sure the entire tick is removed and disposed of.  He doesn't suggest flushing them down the toilet but says putting them on some tape and then throwing them away works or burning them is an option.  Deer ticks are the more dangerous ticks because of the diseases they can cause which includes Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis.  Smith says mosquitoes can also cause illnesses which includes West Nile virus and encephalitis.  Smith says if children are spending a significant time outside in wooded areas they become more vulnerable to ticks and mosquitoes and checking yourself and young people for ticks and mosquito bites are important.  Smith says if a bite looks abnormal it is important to see a doctor sooner rather than later especially if you suspect a deer tick was involved.

WJON's Health Matters program airs Mondays and Saturdays from 9:10-10 a.m. weekly.  If you are interested in hearing the full conversation with Dr. Smith listen below.






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