Many familes will be heading to the park this 4th of July, but there may be some unwanted guests at your bbq this weekend. We're talking about ticks, particularly ones that carry a potentially devastating infection. Dr. Clifford Bassett, Clinical Assistant Professor of NYU School of Medicine gives us some tips on preventing and protecting yourself this summer.

Insect Repellents: A variety of brands that contain "DEET" containing sprays/products - for a child (concentration less than 10% DEET) - backyard and/or hiking/woods - greater than 20-30% DEET - Permethrin containing insect repellent

Alternative products - Bite blocker (soybean oil) - Repel (Oil of lemon eucalyptus) - Avon Skin So Soft product line - Citronella - Over the counter - topical hydrocortisone cream/ointment - Liquid antihistamine (i.e. "Benadryl") - Ice compress - Epi-Pen (Will bring "trainer" device) - Long socks - Light colored shirt and clothing - Scented products, gels, colognes etc (no no's)

TIPS to prevent tick bites: 1. Empty standing water 2. Use long sleeves/pants when exposed while hiking, biking in tick infested, and "tick prone" areas. Wear light colored clothing/shirts to more easily spot ticks 3. Avoid late day dusk to dawn, peak biting times 4. Use outdoor yellow bug lights, instead of white bulbs 5. Use the "right" repellent to get the job done, before exposure (backyard vs. woods, and amount of time you need protection will correspond to the concentration of "Deet" in the spray or product. Wash off insect spray after you come indoors with soap and water (especially important for young children). 6. Use the approved product for your young child 7. Get tested by an allergist if you suspect you have an allergic reaction to bites and stings 8. Know the safest way to remove a "tick" 9. Avoid heavily scented, hair, body products (colognes, perfumes) to be less of a target for insects

Link to www.allergyreliefnyc.com for more tips and info. Dr. Bassett will be tweeting about this topic @allergyreliefny.