While it’s not a good announcement, it is one we do every year. It’s rabies season again. We get a lot of questions about rabies shots. When are they needed, how is exposure determined, who needs to get them, etc. One pretty common question we really haven’t covered before is why are rabies shots always recommended for children?
Not necessarily why children, but why do they pretty much ALWAYS recommend children get them even if the child had no contact with the bat.
The answer is pretty simple, children lie. Before you go on the offensive and say, “not my sweet little angel”, listen to the very solid logic behind this statement.
Why Would a Kid Lie About Touching a Bat?!?
Children are (generally) tender souls full of compassion and caring for the world around them. Children are not naturally afraid of bats. Fear of bats is instilled in them by the adults that are guiding them into adulthood. So when a child sees a bat, their first instinct is not to run in fear, but rather to pick up a sick or injured animal and help it.
Children only realize they may have made a mistake in doing this when the adults around them make a big deal out of it. Then the questions start…. Did you touch the bat with your hand? Did the bat bite you? Did the bat scratch you?
What is going through your child’s head when this line of questioning starts?
But mom/dad just freaked out about the fact that I have a bat… Am I in trouble? Oh no, I did something wrong. “No, I didn’t touch it.” “No, it didn’t bite me.” “No, I never even saw its claws.”
Even in a situation where adults are present when a child is around a bat, bad things can happen. Take for instance this grandmother who’s cat brought her a bat. She used absolute caution in handling the bat herself. She even used tremendous caution when letting her granddaughter handle the bat…
The bat was never touched with bare hands. It was wrapped in a towel the whole time it was being held. It was injured from the cat bringing it inside the home, so they were in the middle of transporting it to a local vet’s office.
When the bat died a couple days later, it was sent for testing and turned out to be rabid. The sweet granddaughter (I love the picture of her holding the bat, it’s adorable) had made sure to hold the bat only in the towel and not touch it with her hands. But, upon further questioning, guess what this sweet little girl did? She snuck in a sweet little kiss on the bats head.
No one knew about this until they questioned the child more. She didn’t fess up to the information. I’m sure her grandmother was very specific in telling her not to touch the bat outside of holding the towel. She knew she wasn’t supposed to kiss that bat, but she did.
While the odds of the little girl contracting rabies is low, there is enough of a possibility that she is now undergoing rabies shots.
Something As Innocent As a Kiss
If you are questioning whether or not your child came into contact with a bat in your home, remember this cautionary tale. You can never be too cautious when it comes to your children’s health. Rabies is still considered 100% fatal without treatment. Once symptoms appear, it is too late.
While bats are wonderful for the environment, this is why they should not be living in your home. We love the environment more than most, but if it comes down to human life or the life of a bat, yours (or your childs) is more important.
We utilize humane bat exclusion techniques to get rid of bats from your home. Because we are humane, we can help no matter the time of year or situation. Don’t make your child suffer through rabies shots because someone told you that you had to wait.
Call us today. We’ll protect your family, your pets, and your property.
Your local bat removal expert,