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Tick bites are a risk to everyone staying in Sweden. Read about how to remove ticks from your child, what diseases the child is at risk of and how to detect them.
How should I remove a tick from my child?
There are so many different ideas online about how to remove a tick. Butter, oil, acetone, nail polish or, why not gasoline? And should it be rotated clockwise or counterclockwise?
The good news is that you don’t have to rub the tick with anything at all. And don’t rotate it either.
Pull it straight out!
Use a pair of tweezers or a tick picker. (I always use tweezers, because I have it at home and they can also be used for other purposes). Grasp the tick’s head, close to where it attaches to the skin, and pull straight up. That way you often pull out the whole tick!
Is it dangerous if I didn’t pull out the whole tick?
Sometimes there will be a little bit of the tick left. It’s not dangerous. Do you think you can get the piece out with your tweezers? If so, give it a go. Otherwise let it be. The body will repel the bite itself.
What diseases can the child get from a tick bite?
There are two diseases that spread from tick to human in Sweden: Lyme disease and TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). With Lyme disease, there is antibiotic treatment that works well. It is just a matter of getting the child to understand that they have Lyme disease and it needs to be treated with antibiotics.
As for TBE, there is no specific treatment. Unfortunately, the disease affects the brain, and children risk symptoms long after the disease has passed. There are vaccines against TBE, but it is not given as part of the Swedish National Immunization Program for children.
The vaccine can be given from one year of age, those who say otherwise are sadly misinformed. I think it is a good investment for everyone living in Sweden, to privately vaccinate their child against TBE. Possibly with the exception of those who live in northern Norrland where there are no ticks, and who do not travel very much to other parts of Sweden.