Let’s Prevent It
Avoiding common summertime maladies
Ick, a Tick
It is a good habit to try and check for ticks at least once a day in the summer months, says Dr. Christine Macken of Doctors’ Pediatrics. “Ticks generally have to be attached for at least 36 to 48 hours in order to transmit disease,” she says. If you find one, remove it as soon as possible. With larger ticks, soak a cotton ball with liquid soap and hold it over the tick for 30 seconds. Or try tweezers—grasping as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight upward, using gentle pressure until the tick releases its grasp. Tiny deer ticks may need to be scraped off with a fingernail or credit-card edge. After removing a tick, wash the skin with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment.
Swimmer’s ear is an infection that occurs in your ear canal. “The water in the canal creates a warm, moist environment for bacteria,” says Dr. Meredith Renda of Doctors’ Pediatric. Usually swimmer’s ear makes it very painful to touch or tug on the outside of the ear. A swimmer’s ear is treated with antibiotic drops applied right to the inflamed ear canal. To prevent swimmer’s ear, dry ears well by rubbing a towel around the outside of the ear. Tip your head to one side to drain excess water. Do not stick Q-tips or other objects in the ear. Use a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol to prevent bacterial build up.