As the weather finally starts to turn, families are heading outside and spending their days exploring the outdoors.

Maybe you're heading out to catch a movie at your local drive-in theater or maybe you're exploring the numerous hiking trails across the valley. Whatever you may be doing outdoors, you should be taking precautions.

Unfortunately, as we head outside, we have to be aware of ticks and tick-borne illnesses. Lyme Disease, which is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick according to the New York State Department of Health, became reportable in 1986. Since then, 98,500 cases have been reported in New York State.

What better way to keep your family alert and informed than with a family night out to the movies. Dutchess County Government is partnering up with Senator Sue Serino to bring awareness of these dangerous tick-borne illnesses to local families.

On Wednesday, May 25th, they'll be hosting a free movie night at Overlook Drive-In on DeGarmo Road in Poughkeepsie. Dreamwork's "Over The Hedge" will be played for free starting at sunset.

Free tick removal kits will also be distributed to those who attend, as well as information on Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses will be available. To RSVP call Senator Serino's office at 845-229-0106 or email serino@nysenate.gov.

How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease?

The New York State Department of Health has curated the following list of ways to prevent contact with deer ticks that cause Lyme Disease:

  • In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself:
  • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
  • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
  • Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions.
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation.
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
  • Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

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