Missouri health officials say people can protect themselves from tick bites by:
— Avoiding areas with lots of ticks. Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging grass and brush.
— Keeping ticks off their skin. Apply a repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET and read the label. Wear light-colored clothing that makes ticks easier to see. Tucking your pants into your socks can also help.
— Check for ticks. Remove ticks from clothes before going inside and dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag or other container.
— The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that insect repellents containing DEET are most effective against ticks and mosquitoes. The academy says 30 percent DEET is the maximum amount currently recommended for children over two months old. DEET should not be used on infants under 2 months of age, officials said.