updated 8/13/2007 6:30:50 PM ET 2007-08-13T22:30:50

Tips for preventing Lyme disease, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Deer ticks that spread Lyme disease are most common in wooded, leaf-strewn areas, and where tall grass meets brush.
  • Wear tick repellent, containing up to 30 percent DEET, on exposed skin when going into tick-prone areas. Wear closed-toes shoes and long pants, preferably tucked into socks to prevent ticks from climbing under pants.
  • Create backyard buffers. Thin branches where woods meet lawn, to let in some tick-deterring light. Rake leaves and remove underbrush; move woodpiles away from the house. Create a 3-foot-wide mulch or wood-chip border between lawn and woods, and put children’s playsets on wood chips away from wooded perimeters.
  • Ticks are active from spring through fall, but spring and summer are riskier because it’s harder to spot juvenile ticks the size of a poppy seed.
  • Check for ticks daily after being outdoors, especially on the scalp, groin and armpits.
  • Remove ticks with tweezers, grasping the tick’s head, not its body. Not every tick carries Lyme, and the chance of infection if one is removed within 24 hours is extremely small, but be alert for signs of Lyme, including a round, red rash and flulike symptoms. Caught early, Lyme can be cured easily.

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