As the end of summer draws closer, let's take advantage of every opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the scenery and warm temperatures.  Getting outside in summer is a lot of fun, but it's also important to exercise a little caution to stay safe and healthy.

The risk of Lyme disease in West Michigan is on the rise.  Let's review how you can protect yourself and your family.

Lyme disease was first discovered in Michigan in 1985.  It has been discovered in nearly every county and the Michigan DNR expects cases of Lyme disease to continue to increase.

Lyme disease is spread to humans by the bite of a tick. reviews the how to prevent being bit:

• Use bug repellents containing DEET.

• Wear long pants tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts when walking in the woods or grassy areas.

• Check skin and clothes for ticks after being in the woods.

• Remove a tick by grasping it as close to the skin as possible with tweezers and gently pulling until it releases its grip.

• Clean a bite with antiseptic.

• If you live near woods, remove brush and litter and put wood chips or a gravel path between your yard and the woods as a buffer zone to minimize tick exposure.

Enjoy the rest of summer and stay safe!