Summer camps taking extra precautions because of ticks

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - With the warmer winter, we have more ticks this year than what we usually do.  That has some kids' camps taking some extra precautions.

Alwyn Chao is at the park with her 8-year-old son, Ben. She's knows there are more ticks to be worried about this year, but says she has worked in a vet's office and is experience with the insects.

"I do have experience with ticks and pulling them off," Chao said.

On Sunday a 2-year-old from central Indiana died. Her parents say it was likely because of a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever she contracted from a tick bite.

"As everyone is predicting, there is supposed to be a higher population of ticks this year due to a number of factors," said Katrina Heintzen, and environmental educator at the Shaker Nature Center.

At the Shaker Nature Center, they too are taking extra precautions.

"Keep reapplying, which is something we'll be doing with the camp kids," Heintzen said.

Heintzen has had Lyme Disease twice. She says while they would encourage kids to use repellent before, they will be applying it more often this summer.

"Before we go outside after lunch, insect repellent all over again," Heintzen said.

Chao says they will just watch where they play this summer, and check for ticks when they come inside.

"We don't really go into the woods and we don't have ticks in our backyard," Chao said.

At the Nature Center they want you to go out and enjoy nature, just remember to protect yourself, then check yourself.

Health officials say there's an explosion of ticks in northeast Ohio. That's why we here at Cleveland 19 want you know know some steps that we all can take for tick prevention.

  • Walk in the center of trails so grass, shrubs, and weeds don't  brush against you.
  • Check yourself, your children, other family members, and pets for ticks every two to three hours.
  • If you find a tick, Remove it as soon as your see it with tweezers, doctors recommend as close to the skin as possible
  • Use insect repellent with deet
  • Wear long sleeved clothing, hats and closed toe shoes

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