so you’ve found a tick…

Ugh.

We found an embedded tick on my little.  blarg.  It is pretty common and we have this amazing modern medicine now so everything is pretty treatable.  I say this but I may have spazzed a little.

First we removed the gross bugger with tweezers.  I’ve heard too many conflicting things about all the other ways and just went with old faithful.  I put the creature, which was about the size of a sesame seed, into a ziploc bag and washed my hands.  Cleaned the spot on my little.  Called the pediatrician who is AMAZING (thank God for doctors and people who have devoted themselves to taking care of others!)!

I looked into my essential oil books and applied some lavender and tea tree oil on the site. Then decided I should crowd source from friends on what to do next.  There’s allllll sorts of information, antibiotics, tests, no tests, rashes, has to be embedded for x amount of time, only needs to be embedded for a minute, etc.  And I knew I wasn’t the first one to deal with this.  I’m really really happy I did and friends because I got all sorts of information and it was all pretty amazing. It was varied which I appreciate because it lets you explore your options for what gives you peace of mind.  So, I’m writing this because some of the things were so incredibly wonderfully helpful that I hope someone else can find it useful.

  1. First, save the tick.  Put it in a ziploc bag.  Wash your hands and maybe throw something like neosporin or essential oils or alcohol on the site. Take a picture of the creature.  Then put that ziploc bag in ANOTHER ziploc bag and put that in the freezer.
  2. Call your doctor to verify correct steps and precautions because things change all the time and I’m writing this blog right now in 2018.
  3. Submit the picture of the gross thing to www.tickencounter.org/tickspotters. They will respond in a couple days with what type of tick it is, how long they think it was embedded for, and the probability of it having an infection and the likelihood of you getting said infection.  ALL FROM A PICTURE!  And they sent us our report on a Sunday, so they are clearly working everyday to try to help give people some knowledge.  They also explain how they are able to tell, which is helpful.
  4. Take the frozen tick and put it in a padded envelope and mail it to www.tickreport.com.  Well don’t mail it to the website, but go to that site and follow their instructions.  You pay $50 and they’ll test the tick to see if it has any infections.  They’re amazing too.
    • They answer the phone and talk down freaked out moms (not me of course, I’m always super chill).
    • They will text you when your tick (something I never wanted as my own) arrives to them and just keep you in the general loop.
    • Your report is updated real-time so you can click on a link and see where they are with it.
    • You get results within 3 business days.
    • They apparently have all the ticks they’ve ever tested and keep them indefinitely in case you ever need to do more tests.

All of that is insane to me, and I’m so thankful that there are people out there devoted to this because it helps us evaluate further steps.  We are still in the waiting process for that report, but I wanted to share this because having outlined steps might help someone else.

What we do from here – antibiotics, blood testing, or nothing – will all depend on the report + doctor recommendations + mama taking care of her baby.  But these are first steps and some useful links.  I hope you are reading this for fun and not because you’ve just found a tick on your precious baby, but alas, here are steps to take if you need them.

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