Skip to main content
Learn more about Build, Learn, Grow resources for families and programs.

Build, Learn, Grow

Learn more about Build, Learn, Grow resources for families and programs.


It looks like your browser is out-of-date! For the best user experience, please upgrade to a more modern browser like Chrome or Edge.

Brighter Futures Logo

March 29, 2019

Protecting Little Ones From Ticks

Grasses 419891 1920

The Indiana State Department of Health released a statement urging Hoosiers to protect themselves against ticks.

While families are packing picnic baskets, dipping their toes in the lake and spending more time outdoors, ticks are also having their moment. A recent field sample by the Indiana State Department of Health found adult and immature ticks carrying the bacterium that cause Lyme disease in a number of counties, particularly in the northern, west central, and south central parts of the state. To see a map showing where tick infection is located, click here.

Time outdoors is great for the health of your little one. But it’s also important to be mindful of ticks and how to protect children against them. Ticks can transmit several diseases in addition to Lyme disease!

ticks, spring, Indiana spring, nature, kids, safety, proper tick removal, tick gif

Graphic: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you are playing in a grassy or wooded area, do the following to protect your child:

  • Have them wear a long-sleeved shirt and light colored pants, with the shirt tucked in at the waist and the pants tucked into the socks
  • For children over the age of two, use an EPA-registered insect repellent with active ingredients. Click here for a complete list.
  • Check them for ticks frequently while outdoors

The time between a tick bite and when you find it is important: quickly finding and removing a tick can prevent your little one from getting sick. Once indoors:

  • Do another tick check
  • Throw their clothes into the dryer for 30 minutes — the heat will kill ticks
  • Have your little one take a shower to remove any unattached ticks
How to remove an attached tick:

Remove the attached tick as soon as you notice it. Grasp the tick with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull it straight out. For more information about removing ticks, see the CDC’s tick removal page.

Avoid remedies such as painting the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly. Do not use heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible.

To reduce ticks in your yard:

  • Mow the lawn frequently
  • Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees
  • Remove old furniture, mattresses or trash from the yard — any place ticks may use for hiding

Prevent ticks on your house furry friends:

  • Check your pet for ticks after they spend time outdoors
  • If you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away
  • Discuss tick prevention products with your veterinarian
What to do if your child feels sick:

Watch for signs of sickness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite. Your risk of getting a disease because of ticks depends on several factors, like where you live, the type of tick that bit you and how long the tick was attached. If your child develops a rash or fever within several weeks of outdoor activity, see your health care provider. Be sure to tell them about your child’s outdoor exposures — at home and during travel.

For more information about ticks and how to prevent the diseases they carry, see the Indiana State Department of Health website:

Read the full Indiana Health Officials statement here.

Images and content via: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)

Read more about your child’s health:

  • Family Field Trip: Grocery
  • The Tooth Truth: Caring for Your Child's Teeth
  • mud, child play, activities, early learning, rainy day
    The Magic of Mud
  • Frankenstein, DIY, children, activity, summer program
    Frankenstein Fun with Indiana Humanities
  • children outdoors, indiana DNR, kids outside
    Six Fun Outdoor Ideas For Hoosier Children
  • counting, adding, math, science, skills, kindergarten
    Get Real with Math and Science Skills
  • The Science of Early Learning
  • Make family time school — and career — readiness time!
  • Fall Activities For Babies & Kids
  • news, early learning, what to read, learn
    The Week in Early Learning