Contingency: Ticks

Contingency updated on 27 February 2019

Our recent move to Dairy Farm Nature Park, has also brought us to the home of the natural ticks in the Forested space. Some of our children were latched on and bitten by the ticks after the forest school session. After much discussion amongst the parents, coaches and volunteers, we have prepared an information sheet, to educate our community and public about ticks, the prevention methods, and the remedies to handling ticks. The ticks are part of the eco system as well, so we hope everyone will respect nature as it is. We learn to adapt together with her.

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Insights from the Community:

a. “Ticks in kids are usually not itchy and fairly harmless. Unless some rare ticks can cause more serious illnesses but from what I know, not in Singapore.”
b. “The tick species found in Singapore is Rhipicephalus sanguineus, also known as Brown Dog tick. According to Illinois Department of Public Health, this species is not an important carrier of diseases to humans (Health, 2010).”
c. “Prevention: We all need to get long sleeved tops and long pants for kids. Tuck in the tops. Then spray/apply insect repellent. I think we would need to really apply layer of insect repellent.”
d. “My aussie mates kids all have had lice, ticks etc. Part of their childhood” (Positive Thinking)
e. “It is unfortunately inevitable if the kids go into the forest. Even if kids are wearing long sleeve n pants n spraying repellents, the possibility of getting ticks is there. The ticks are in the forest, not just on animals. If kids come in contact with the ticks, brushing across the leaves or logs where a cluster of ticks are, then the ticks will attach themselves to the kids. The ticks can even hide in the pockets for example and come out later.”
f. “Good news is that most of the ticks in sg are fairly benign, at most causing a skin allergic reaction.”
g. “One thing we can do is ensure kids shower immediately after FS, wash their clothes n maybe even bags too. Cos the ticks can attach themselves to belongings like bags.”

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Suggested Preventive Measure:

  1. Wear Long Sleeves Top and Bottom
  2. Tuck in the Top into the Bottom
  3. Tuck in the Bottom into the Socks
  4. Apply Insect Repellent on the shirt and pant opening
  5. Check for Ticks after session
  6. Shower immediately after session
  7. Wash the clothes and bags after session

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Suggested Remedy for Bites:

  1. Use a tweezer to pull the tick out as close to the skin as possible.
  2. After extraction, clean the bite area with alcohol or soap and water.
  3. Check back for any expanding red rash on the bite site.
  4. If person is found to be sickly after, please see your doctor.

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Q & A regarding Issue: (Answers are all reference from online sources)

  • What is a tick?
    Ticks are small arachnids, typically 3 to 5 mm long, living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are widely distributed around the world, especially in warm, humid climates.
  • Are all ticks harmful to humans?
    (www.petsandparasites.org/dog-owners/ticks/)

    The skin where ticks attach to humans can become red and irritated. Ticks that transmit diseases to your dog can also transmit many of the same diseases to people. It is important to realize that people do not get these diseases from their dogs.
  • What happens if you get bitten by a tick?
    (https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/tick.html)

    A person who gets bitten by a tick usually won’t feel anything at all. There might be a little redness around the area of the bite. If you think you’ve been bitten by a tick, tell an adult immediately. Some ticks carry diseases (such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever) and can pass them to people.
  • How do you know if you’ve been bitten by a tick? (https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/aha_tickbite/)
    You usually will not feel anything when a tick bites you. If you find a tick attached to your skin, you have been bitten. You may have a little redness around the area of a bite. … The early symptoms of Lyme disease occur within the first week to months after being bitten by an infected tick.
  • What to do after being bitten by a tick?
    Once you have removed the tick, wash the wound site and your hands with soap and water. Observe the bite site over the next two weeks for any signs of an expanding red rash. Tick attachment time is important; removing ticks within 36 hours of attachment reduces the risk of infection.
  • Can ticks live in the house?
    (https://tickencounter.org/faq/tick_habitat)

    In a typical house environment, unfed deer ticks are not likely to survive even 24 hours. Ticks on moist clothing in a hamper can survive 2-3 days. Ticks that have taken a blood meal may survive a bit longer but certainly not the 30+ days it takes to mature and bite again or lay eggs.