Ticks can most certainly be dangerous to people, especially babies, along with animals such as cats and dogs. Like many other bloodsucking parasites, ticks can spread diseases between their victims, and some of these diseases can be very serious. For this reason, it's important to try and avoid tick bites, and to carefully remove and preserve the bugs in the event that someone is bitten, so that the best possible treatment can be provided.
Hundreds of tick species can be found worldwide, although only a handful of these are known to carry diseases which can be dangerous. They typically live in scrubby and woody areas, leaping to warm blooded mammals to feed on their blood. Most bites happen while people are camping, hiking, working in the woods, or working in the yard.
Initially, a bite typically causes irritation and inflammation which can lead to itching. Some people experience allergies, caused by sensitization to certain proteins associated with ticks, and they may experience a variety of symptoms from outbreaks of rashes to difficulty breathing. The bites also have the potential to become infected, just like any other kind of injury which breaches the skin, and if parts of the tick are left inside the bite, these can fester and promote infection as well, even if the bite is well cared for.
Lyme disease, caused by a bacterial infection, is probably one of the most famous medical conditions associated with these critters. However, they can also cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, powassan, Babesiosis, and the tick-borne encephalitis virus. These diseases can cause a variety of symptoms and medical problems, and in some regions of the world, they are endemic in the local population, which makes bites especially dangerous in these areas.
If someone is bitten by a tick, the bug should be carefully removed with tweezers to ensure that the parasite and its mouth parts are completely removed. People who are not comfortable doing this can ask a doctor for help. The body should be preserved in a small container or bag in case the bite becomes inflamed or symptoms suggesting infection appear, so that the body can be inspected under a microscope. Bites should be cleansed with warm water and soap, and it's important to keep an eye on the bite for any signs of irritation or inflammation, and to seek treatment properly.
Bites can be prevented by utilizing topical sprays which repel the bugs, and by wearing thick, heavy garments which fully cover the body, making it hard for ticks to latch on. Clothing and hair should be thoroughly shaken and brushed out after trips into the woods to remove the parasites, and animals should also be regularly checked for signs of bites. These parasites are especially found of warm, dark folds of skin such as the armpits and elbows, making it critical to examine these areas with care.