Back to School Safety

Printable School Safety Tip Sheet

Backpack Safety

BrycenWhen backpacks are too heavy or carried incorrectly, they can injure muscles or joints and contribute to other problems including: muscle fatigue, poor posture, painful shoulders, back and neck pain, and injuries from tripping and falling. If a backpack forces the wearer to lean forward, it is overloaded and some items should be removed.

The proper backpack is/has:
•  A padded back
•  Two wide, padded shoulder straps
•  Several compartments
•  No wider than the user’s chest
•  Worn no higher than the base of the neck
•  Worn no lower than 3 to 4 inches below the waist
•  Supported by a waist or chest strap
•  Made of lightweight material

How to load a backpack:
•  Place heaviest objects closest to your back
•  Use compartments to distribute the weight
•  Hand-carry heavy books to avoid excessive weight
•  Always use both shoulder straps

Playground Safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children for playground related injuries every year. To help prevent injuries, your child should:KeAsia

•   Go down the slide one at a time and wait until the slide is clear before taking their turn
•   Face forward with legs straight out
•   NEVER slide down headfirst
•   Swing sitting down
•   Wait until the swing stops before getting off and be careful when walking in front of swings
•   Always wear closed toe shoes

Playing it Safe around Bullies

If your child is bullied, help your child learn to:
•  Look the bully in the eye
•  Stand tall and stay calm
•  Walk away
•  Say in a firm voice:
“I don’t like what you are doing.”
“Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
•  Ask a trusted adult for help

Parents can:
•  Alert school officials to the problem and work with them on solutions
•  Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there
•  Monitor your child’s social media or texting

School Bus Safety

MacAbout eight school-age children are killed each year while walking near school transportation vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although all drivers are required to stop for a school bus, children should not rely on them doing so.

•  Line up away from the road as the bus approaches
•  Wait until bus has stopped and door opens before approaching
•  If you have to cross in front, walk 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
•  Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times

American Ninja Warrior Celebration

Are you a fan of American Ninja Warrior? Don’t miss Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville’s season finale celebration on September 11 at Gravitopia and September 12 at Greenville Shriners Hospital.

Ninja Warrior Celebration


Recognizing One of our Special Veterans

T. Whitney Gibson’s, D.O., interest in orthopaedics began after he sustained multiple injuries while playing high school and college sports. Dr. Gibson was Captain of his high school football, wrestling, and gymnastics teams. After placing 4th in states, he was offered a spot on the Army wrestling team at West Point, NY.

At West Point, Dr. Gibson lettered and Captained the Army Blackknight wrestling team his senior year. During this time as a Cadet, he completed his Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. After graduation from the United States Military Academy, he served as an officer in the US Army Air Defense Artillery Branch and Graduate Assistant Wrestling Coach.

After completing medical school, Dr. Gibson served a transitional internship year at William Beaumont Army Medical Center and was then stationed as a staff orthopaedic surgeon at Fort Bragg, NC.

He spent two overseas tours during his career. Upon his return to the States, he finished his Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship at the Greenville Shriners Hospital.

Dr. Gibson went on to serve as the Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics at Eisenhower Army Medical Center Orthopaedic Residency Program. During this time at Fort Gordon, GA, he traveled to Ft. Bragg, Ft. Benning, and Ft. Stewart on a regular basis to serve the needs of the children of the Army families.

Upon retirement from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Medical Corps, Dr. Gibson joined the staff as a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. Here he combined his arthroscopy skills and training in pediatric orthopaedics to spearhead the sports medicine program.

During his time at the Greenville Shriners Hospital, Dr. Gibson has performed an arthroscopic assisted reduction for DDH on the youngest reported child (4 months old) in the world, and specializes in performing patella dislocations (MPFL reconstructions), physeal sparing ACL knee reconstructions, shoulder, ankle, elbow, and hip arthroscopies on children from ages 2-18. “My time at the Greenville Shriners Hospital has been extremely rewarding and humbling and I hope to continue fulfilling my dream here at the Greenville Shriners Hospital,” Dr. Gibson says.


Meet Lindley

“A complication during the birthing process left Lindley with a Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI) resulting in Erbs Palsy, a condition affecting the movement and sensation of the arm and hand. Lindley’s arm was completely paralyzed for the first few months and her hand twisted inward, the common position for those affected knows as ‘the waiters tip’. She began occupational therapy at three weeks old and became a Greenville Shriners Hospital patient right before she turned one.

When Lindley was almost 3 years old she stopped progressing at her weekly occupational therapy sessions. Her arm would no longer go straight up, even with help. When we returned to Greenville Shriners Hospital, new x-rays revealed Lindley’s shoulder ball joint was becoming dislocated and coming out the back of the socket. She was quickly scheduled for a laparoscopic tendon release, a surgery to loosen the tightening tendons in the front of her armpit.

On the day of surgery, Lindley was given a Build-a-Bear puppy named Ice Cream, and all sorts of other cool things to make her feel at ease. After her surgery, she was in a liberty cast with her arm bent up at a right angle. Once Lindley got used to her cast, it didn’t hold her back from doing anything she would normally do.

As soon as the cast was removed, Lindley was already able to put her hand on top of her head, unassisted by her other arm! Something she had never done before! Lindley no longer complained of her shoulder hurting and when doing her stretches we could get her arm straight up – another awesome accomplishment.

We love how family friendly the hospital is and the staff who works there are fantastic. The knowledge of the doctors at the Greenville Shriners Hospital makes it easier to make the difficult decisions. I always feel they have the children’s best interest at heart. Sometimes appointments can take a while but we know it’s because they are trying to give everyone quality treatment while they are visiting and there is always fun stuff for the kids to do while waiting. I think Lindley’s favorite thing about coming is the playground on the ‘roof.’ She has always thought that and the therapy dogs are the coolest.

We are very grateful for the people who make it all possible. We are thankful that people care enough to donate to provide a place for kids to go to get the help they need. We also appreciate the things people donate to make the visits a little more fun and exciting. Thanks for making a fun hospital a possibility for all kids in need. I don’t think Lindley has ever left without a smile on her face.

Now Lindley is 8 years old, and while she still has some challenges, she doesn’t let anything stop her.” – Yvonne Walker (Lindley’s Mom)


Welcome, Dr. Gettys!

SHCGreenville patient Evan and Dr. Gettys
SHCGreenville patient Evan and Dr. Gettys

Further establishing Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville as home to the premiere experts in pediatric orthopaedic care in the region, Keith Gettys, M.D., has joined the hospital’s medical staff. “I love being a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon because you get to impact and change kids’ lives,” says Dr. Gettys.

Board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic surgery, Dr. Gettys received his undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Virginia Tech University. He attended the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine before completing a residency and research fellowship at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Following this, he completed a Fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.

The recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, Dr. Gettys received the 2015 T. Boone Pickens Award for Orthopaedics for a research project on club foot. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

Areas of special interest to Dr. Gettys include hips, spines and feet.

The addition of Dr. Gettys as the organization’s sixth full-time pediatric orthopaedic surgeon also cements Greenville Shriners Hospital’s position as one of the largest pediatric orthopaedic programs in the region.

Dr. Gettys joins Dr. Wattenbarger, along with fellow Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville pediatric orthopaedic surgeons T. Whitney Gibson, D.O.; Michael J. Mendelow, M.D.; Peter Stasikelis, M.D.; and David Westberry, M.D. to provide the highest quality care to children with orthopaedic conditions regardless of the families’ ability to pay.


Dear Greenville Shriners Hospital-

Hunter“You have the best team in the world! Every staff member and volunteer shows genuine love for each child and family that walks through your doors. They ALWAYS all go out of their way to make sure the children come first. Hunter always says, “I am a little bit spoiled at this hospital and everybody loves me so much!”

We come from Virginia and our family members can’t always be there with us, but we feel like we have an extended family right here with us with this wonderful staff.

Each and every department and staff member holds a special place in our hearts and everyone puts 110 percent into their job each day. We have seen staff members stay later than scheduled, come check on us when they were off, make sure we have everything we need, give us a hug to ease fears and assure us it will be ok, etc.

Every person here has helped Hunter know he can be a kid just like his friends and overcome any challenge he faces. He has a special bond and trusting relationship with so many staff members here. Thank you to each and everyone involved in this hospital and the special and unique talent you each give every day to all the families that come to Greenville.

Here is a little about each department that we see at the Greenville Shriners Hospital— We know it takes a lot of teamwork and hard work each and every day:

Appointment Desk: Always smiling and polite and makes sure appointments will work with your schedule. They always make sure you have school notes when you check out and any other questions answered before you leave.

Volunteers: There are volunteers all over and they make sure we get what we need each visit. In the surgery waiting room they make sure you don’t need anything and assure you if you need to run out a minute they will listen for that phone call you are waiting on! The volunteers are always smiling and we are so thankful for all they do. We are thankful for the gift shop (Sunshine Shop) and the scholarships you are able to provide to many of the Shriners kids. Hunter is getting older now and it won’t be very much longer until he goes to college and we are so excited you have this available for him. This makes these kids feel so much more special.Hunter

Check-in/Reception Desk: Always calm, smiling and makes sure your family has what they need before checking in. Even when they are so busy they always make you feel like you are the only family checking in and you never feel rushed. If you have any concerns or questions they answer them for you. They get their job done quickly and accurate. They all make us smile each visit.

Outpatient Clinic: There are so many things to accomplish in your visit but the staff is always making sure you have things to keep busy and a snack if child feels hungry. All the staff gets along and even if they are so busy they are still smiling and taking time out for each family. They remain so positive and friendly during your entire visit.

Cast Room: Always such great smiles and genuine love for all the children and families. They always work hard to make sure each child is happy and do a great job at distracting the child from their pain. One time when Hunter was small he wanted his cast to be camouflage. The cast room didn’t have anything to wrap but plain colors so they took markers and drew on his green to look like he was in camouflage. This was so special and Hunter was so proud to wear his cast even though it was tough to wear.

We also love the Bear Club/ Build-a-Bear Program. Hunter always looks forward to picking out a different outfit with each surgery. He loves to try to figure out which new outfits will be in the bear den. After 20 surgeries, he has quite a collection now!

HunterOrthotics/Prosthetics: They all have such a genuine love for these kids. This department is always so pleasant and joking around with Hunter and goes out of their way to make every child as happy and as comfortable as can be. Getting fitted for your back brace can be so painful and scary for the kids but these guys make it ok. Once when Hunter was younger and had been on the cast table getting fitted for his brace he was hurting and didn’t feel like he could walk to the x-ray department and one of the guys carried him down to x-ray to try to help him stop hurting. They have also come to Hunters room on their breaks to check on him and made him smile through his pain.

Child Life: This department is always making sure patients and families have what they need to keep smiling during their appointments. They are always willing to stop what they are doing and answer questions, get an iPad to play, find a game or puzzle, do a craft, bring you batteries if your toy runs out, etc. They are always so positive and encouraging to the children and the families. They will play Wheel of Fortune, Chinese checkers, Uno, or do anything that makes a smile come. This department knows each child and remembers the little things that make them happy. Just recently Hunter had another surgery and they had Christmas in July and brought him a wrapped present to his room. The smile was priceless and made Hunter feel better. We also love the balloons they place in every room when you are admitted.

Nutrition/Dieticians/Cafeteria: This department is so kind and sweet to make sure each child has just what they feel like to eat and makes sure they sneak some nutrition in too. They will also help us with nutrition education to make sure the child eats well when they are home. The people in this department also care about the parents. We forget to get ourselves food and drink sometime and they are always checking on us to make sure we know when cafeteria hours are and have snacks and coffee in waiting room for us. They are always willing to fix Hunter whatever he asks for. One time he was not eating too well and the only thing he wanted was a sweet potato and the cafeteria was out but they were so kind as to go out and get him a sweet potato. He ate almost the whole thing! They will make him pancakes even if he asks for them every meal time.

Laboratory: They are always so happy and talk to the child and make sure they explain what they will be doing. We like that they do not say “This won’t hurt” but they are honest with the child and very gentle and quick when they are drawing blood. They are always so compassionate and sometimes can get labs done so child doesn’t even feel too much and are surprised when they say “Finished.” They let the child pick a toy when they are finished.

Radiology: This department always does a great job at getting the X-ray done quickly and accurately so the child can get back to clinic or their room if inpatient. They explain to the child what they will be doing and how to stand, lay or sit and usually get the x-ray done correctly on the first try. They are willing to go the extra mile to get the x-rays the doctors have ordered and keep the child smiling and not scared. They know each child by name and have a special bond with each of them.

We love the new EOS machine and are so pleased our hospital has such great equipment. This machine is great and we love the fact it is 9x less radiation for Hunter. Since he has such a complex medical history and has many x-rays this is very important to us. Thanks to all who made that possible.Hunter

OR, Anesthesia, Pre-op, Post-op: This department is very busy and very organized. Whether it is your child’s first surgery or 21st, the staff in OR are always happy and compassionate with these kids. They go over your child’s records with you, explain things you or child may be confused on, make sure your child is ready to go back, make sure room is sterile and ready before surgery, make sure they talk to child and ease anxiety, etc. They have a toy wagon the child can pick from before they go into the surgery room. The staff here know Hunter so good that one time they saved a special toy car out for him because they knew he had been collecting these and he didn’t have that one yet and surgery was coming that week. They always try to keep the child calm. They do a great job talking to and distracting the children. During surgery they call and update you on your child’s progress and this can make waiting much easier. During recovery Hunter always tells us they try hard to make him comfortable and tell him he can come see us as soon as he is feeling better. He loves everyone in this department. One time Hunter was a little more scared than normal and the nurse told him he would hold his hand until he woke up. He still talks about that today and knows he is like so many other children and special to these people.

Respiratory: This is such a blessing to know Hunter is watched closely by the respiratory therapist and can check his pulmonary function even in clinic visits. The therapist is so kind and patient with these kids and makes the challenging tests fun for them. Hunter sets goals to accomplish to make the therapist and doctors happy during checkups or inpatient stays. We are very pleased that even when things go a little different than planned with Hunters breathing, we have such a wonderful respiratory therapist and team to get him feeling better quickly.

Nursing Staff: The nurses and CNA’s are wonderful whether they are in clinic, on the floor inpatient unit, surgery, PICU, in training or even in the office. They are all so loving and kind. They are always so positive and encouraging to the child and their family. They will take the time to make sure each child is priority and gets what they need to make them get up faster and keep smiling. Each child is praised and knows they can overcome their challenge. These nurses do so many jobs. We have seen them work so long and not even sit and take a break some days. The parents can feel comfortable knowing their child is getting such professional/quality care day and night. They will always be there for the families to encourage, educate, listen and ease fears, talk to, and even give you a hug if needed for support. We feel secure knowing that a lot of these nurses have had Hunter since he was small and they know him so good they can tell when something is different and he needs help. Hunter jokes around with so many of these nurses and staying in the hospital is actually fun for him even when he is hurting. Hunter has a great bond with this department.

Hunter1Orthopedic Surgeons and PA’s: The doctors and physicians assistants are wonderful. They are so knowledgeable and do such a great job. They make sure each child is treated according to their unique medical challenge with the best plan they can make. They are always meeting/working together to make sure the best plan is in place and the child is their number one priority. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned always but you can always be assured they will help you get through those tough times too. They are so compassionate and take time out to listen to the families and answer any questions or concerns. Hunter has a complex medical history but we are secure here knowing this team can handle his challenges. They also keep in touch with our doctors at home to make sure we are ok after we go home also. They always take time for you even when they are so busy. Just recently, one of the PA’s took his break time to come and race remote control cars with Hunter. This made Hunters day and he feels so special.

Social workers/Care Coordination: This department is always smiling and willing to answer your questions and get you any paperwork you may need. They will help you make sure your child is doing ok in school, eating and socializing ok, paperwork for insurance, etc. If needed, they even have translators for non-English speaking families. This department has a lot of great ideas.

Thank you for having the Family room available for us to use sometimes. We have always had a pleasant experience setting this up when needed. The room is so nice and it is great to get up and go straight to check in. This eases Hunters fears a little and it has been a big help to us when we were able to get a room.

Security Guards: We always feel safe while at the hospital. The guards are always so nice and friendly to us. They are always making sure we are doing ok and don’t need anything. They work hard to keep the hospital safe.

Housekeepers/Laundry:This department is amazing. They make sure everything is clean, sanitized and sterile. We never have trash or laundry pile up and the hospital is always so clean!! They also take time to make sure you don’t need anything. This is such a hard job but you always see this crew smiling and working hard. Thank you for helping the families keep the germs away and keeping the Hospital so nice.

Medical Records, Billing, Ordering: Thank you for always being there when we need you. Medical records staff are always so pleasant and help us get information to our doctors in VA. Billing is always helping work with our insurance and helps us understand paperwork. The department that orders supplies for the hospital makes life easier when they have that one thing needed that most people would have to wait weeks on before getting in stock.

Physical therapy, Occupational therapy and Motion Lab: Hunter has not had the privilege of using these departments but the things we have seen from other patients tells us they are great also. Thanks for your hard work.

Genetics: This department is always a great place. They work hard to help us figure out how to help Hunter with the challenges that he has and how to get the best treatment plan. They are very informative and help us understand how genetics work. We are pleased that Genetics work so close with the surgeons to make sure each child receives the right treatment for their conditions. They are always there if we need to ask them anything and give us information to help us understand.

Pain Management: They are always so positive and happy and work with each child one on one. Each child is unique and handles pain differently. Hunter is always encouraged in a positive way and never forced to take medicine and they are completely honest with him on what he is taking. When he chooses not to take any medication that is ok. He feels like he is in control.

Pharmacy: This department is always making sure Hunter has the medicines that he needs to be taking and we can always check with them if we have questions or concerns. They make sure Hunter’s plan is being followed daily with no side effects or allergies.Hunter

IT/Maintenance/Engineering: We don’t usually see these departments but are thankful they can keep things working in the hospital. Thanks for all the hard work making sure the computers, machines and equipment, heat and air, lights, cameras, bathrooms, etc are always working. Also, thanks for always making sure the hospital looks nice on the outside and inside with beautiful fountains, flowers, playgrounds, paint, etc.

Administrative Staff/Human Resources: This department is special because they make sure the right people are on this wonderful team. They work hard each day and we don’t often get to see them but we know they work so hard to keep day to day operations running smoothly.

Public Relations: This department is great. They are always making sure the patients and families have what they need. They are so good at trying to connect families and letting each child share their special story! Awareness is so important and this department strives to make the public aware of what a fantastic hospital we have! They also work hard to get the public aware and raise funds to keep things going. We love the fact that we now have a blog/facebook to keep us updated on the events that go on at the hospital. We are far away but this still keeps us feeling connected. The stories this department develops really helps the families. Staff can tell parents and children all day long what these procedures will be like but you never really grasp it until you have experienced it. The kids all understand each other and it is so nice to see them interact with each other when we are there. Hunter wants to tell other kids some tips on how to overcome their fears and challenges by sharing his experience and things that helped him. Hunter will always be proud to be a Shriners kid.

Thank you to all who donate their money, time, toys, blankets/pillows, etc. We can tell you first hand, everything goes to the kids!

To Development, your effort in raising funds for the care for our children, we could never fully express the gratitude that we have for all of you. All the things you have provided, we could never express enough thanks.

HunterThanks to all the wonderful staff, volunteers, and donors for all you do each day. Thank you for being part of Hunter’s healthcare team.


The Jarman Family”



Meet Ellie

EllieLike any other 5-year-old girl, Ellie is full of life, on the move and loves to laugh. However, when she was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia at 8 months old, her parents were unsure of what the future may hold for their oldest child.

“Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a rare genetic disorder; the baby is born without part of the cerebellum, which controls balance, equilibrium, eye movement and the mechanics of speech,” explains Ellie’s dad, Donald. “In order to improve fine and gross motor skills, physical and occupational therapies are needed.”

Within two months of beginning therapy at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Greenville, Ellie can not only stand independently for longer periods of time, but can also now brush her teeth, use utensils better and take her shoes on and off.

Each milestone is important progress for Ellie and her family, who relocated to Greenville from Roanoke, Virginia largely due to the care she could receive regularly at Greenville Shriners Hospital. Ellie

“I want donors to understand just how appreciative our family, and the many families that I see at the hospital on a weekly basis, are for the amazing care our children receive from top-notch doctors and medical staff,” Donald said. “From our first visit, Shriners provided consultations and test results within hours – while other medical facilities had taken weeks. Everyone at the hospital is second-to-none when it comes to working with children with disabilities. ”

EllieToys, interactive games and displays as well as comfortable accommodations are all part of the Shriners experience to Ellie and her family. According to her father, the big sister thrives at the hospital due to constant stimulation during her visits.

“My dad was a Shriner before he passed away many years ago,” said Donald. “I know that he is so proud of what his fellow Shriners have done to create such a wonderful hospital … it’s like we’ve come full circle as a family with Shriners. The hospital means the world to us.”