Summer fun

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc., Executive Administrative Assistant Amy Smith displays the informational flyer and tick removal tool that were provided to each 2018-2019 enrolled family.

July is National Park and Recreation Month and Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. wants to encourage all families to celebrate everything that makes the outdoors fun, joyful and full of excitement! Regrettably, in Pennsylvania and New York, the rapid increase of ticks and the threat of Lyme disease is putting a damper on some of the enjoyment.

In an effort to provide up-to-date information to the children and families that they serve, Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. obtained an informational flyer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about “Understanding Tick Bites and Lyme Disease.” The flyer provides detailed information on topics such as “How to Prevent Tick Bites,” “What to Look For” and “How to Remove a Tick.” You can obtain a copy of the flyer by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/toolkit/index.html and clicking on the Fact Sheet links.

Prior to the end of the 2018-2019 program year, Bradford-Tioga Head Start staff provided each family with a copy of the flyer as well as a tick removal device called a Tick Twister. The Tick Twister provides a smart and safe way to remove ticks from people and pets.

Some facts to remember about tick removal:

Grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible

Pull upward with steady, even pressure to remove the tick.

Clean the bite area and your hands.

Ticks should be removed as soon as possible to reduce the chance of infection.

Do not use nail polish, petroleum jelly or a hot match to make the tick detach.

If tick mouthparts remain in the skin, leave them alone. In most cases they fall out within a few days.

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. This year should be no different. With some tick education and a little caution, children and families can still discover the power of play at local parks and recreation facilities. From learning a new sport like pickle-ball to meeting your friends on the playground, parks and recreation facilities are still places where everyone can play, regardless of age or ability.

Bradford Tioga Head Start, Inc. believes in leading initiatives and providing opportunities for children and their families to achieve healthier lifestyles, promote and understand nature and conservation as well as providing them with information about issues that can affect them, such as ticks and Lyme disease.

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. is a program that offers state and federally funded programs for pregnant mothers, families and their children, newborn up to the age of 5; this includes Early Head Start, Head Start, and Pre-K Counts services. Its mission “… To provide exceptional, educational opportunities and high quality, supportive services which empower children and families to grow and thrive.” For more information, call (570) 638-1400, visit www.bradfordtiogahs.org or find us on Facebook.

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