Help DHEC Celebrate International Bat Week and support the Rabies Prevention team’s mission to educate and support our communities about rabies. We are asking for your help with encouraging students across the Palmetto State to participate in a drawing contest. The drawing should demonstrate what to do if they, a friend or family member, or a pet finds a bat or has direct contact with a bat. Bats are beneficial animals that eat thousands of mosquitoes and other nuisance insects every day. However, they are known carriers of rabies. Rabies is 100% fatal but 100% preventable with treatment before the onset of symptoms.
DHEC considers the following three criteria as High-Risk Rabies Exposures:
- Waking to a bat in a room, living space, or tent; or
- Finding a bat alone with children; and
- Direct contact with a bat.
What to do if a bat is found?
- Don't touch it with your bare hands
- Tell an adult.
- Don't let it go out of a window or door, when found inside.
- Trap it in a room by closing the door or use a plastic Tupperware container to safely trap the bat.
- See video on how to safely trap a bat.
- Fun fact: Bats cannot leap from the ground like a bird and fly. That is why they hang upside down!
- Call DHEC (888) 847-0902 (Option 2).
- If a pet is exposed, take it to a veterinarian for a rabies booster and call DHEC.
Bat Week Activities, Resources, and Events for Students
- Experience the fascinating sights and sounds of bats on the Bat Channel and Bat Beats found on the Bat Conservation International webpage.
- Find additional information about bats and rabies on our Bat webpage.
- Find bat-related educational activities to help students brainstorm their creation on the DHEC Rabies Educational Material page
- Each student is allowed to submit one poster entry (i.e., photo, image, or scan of original artwork) no larger than 8.5 x 11.
- A release form is required and can be submitted along with the drawing here: https://scdhec.gov/BatWeekArt
- All entries must be submitted by 8 p.m. on October 13, 2023.
- Teachers have the option of uploading multiple submissions on behalf of students or student parent/guardians have the option of uploading individual submissions (one submission per child).
- There will be one winner per age group for each region (Midlands, Pee Dee, Lowcountry, and Upstate). The age groups are noted as the following:
- 1st and 2nd grade
- 3rd and 4th grade
- 5th and 6th grade
- 7th and 8th grade
- 9th and 10th grade
- 11th and 12th grade
- Each winner will be chosen by the local rabies prevention program that services the county of submission.
- Winners from each age group will receive a certificate for participation and be spotlighted on DHEC's social media pages throughout the week (October 24-31).