South Carolina Top 20 in Child Safety

Dr. William Schmidt speaking out about William Bradshaw and his family's philanthropic involvement in the community at a press conference May 29, 2007.
Greenville Health System and Safe Kids Upstate Celebrate South Carolina’s Top 20 National Status in Child Safety

Greenville, SC – Chairman of Safe Kids Worldwide Martin R. Eichelberger, M.D., joins Greenville Health System (GHS) and Safe Kids Upstate in celebrating South Carolina’s Top 20 National Status in Child Safety. According to the 2007 Safe Kids U.S. Summer Ranking Report, South Carolina ranks 18th out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the ranking based on children’s unintentional injury deaths in summer – a deadly time of year for children. South Carolina shows a 26.4 percent reduction in the summer rate of unintentional injury deaths in children 14 and under.

“Today we celebrate child safety improvements in South Carolina, in particular the Upstate,” says Mike Riordan, CEO of GHS. “As lead organization for Safe Kids Upstate, GHS Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the education of children, parents,  and families in our communities through strategic programming that will ultimately keep our children healthy and safe – Safe Kids Upstate programs accomplish exactly that.”  

Safe Kids Upstate is one of more than 450 coalitions affiliated with Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. Safe Kids Upstate works closely with community partners such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, health and safety experts, professionals, educators, parents, businesses, foundations, governments, policymakers and volunteers. Through these partnerships, Safe Kids Upstate works tirelessly to educate children and their families with hands-on training.

“The grassroots networking and safety programs of Safe Kids Upstate do so much to contribute to the overall quality of life in the City of Greenville,” says Greenville Mayor Knox White. “I am thrilled to present Safe Kids Upstate with a proclamation celebrating their marked achievements in improving the safety and quality of life for our youngest citizens.”

Linda Brees, Safe Kids Upstate Coalition Leader, attributes the success of Safe Kids Upstate to many factors including a strong lead organization in GHS Children’s Hospital, sound partnerships within the community, and generous philanthropic support from the community. The William Bradshaw Family has led the way in their support of Safe Kids Upstate, evidenced in their donation of the largest gift to a single Safe Kids coalition throughout the history of Safe Kids Worldwide. This gift, along with other philanthropic support, ensures that programming like Car Seats Checks, Bicycle Safety, Buddy’s Safety House, School Safety Patrol programs, Internet Safety and others will continue to grow and reach new audiences.

The William Bradshaw Family was presented with the All For the Love of Children Award, an annual award given by GHS Children’s Hospital to an individual or family that has dedicated their lives to making a difference for children. This award has been presented by the Children’s Hospital since 1991. The bronze sculpture of a child holding a teddy bear, depicted in the award, was created by local artist Charlie Pate.

“It’s supporters like the William Bradshaw Family that make my job so gratifying and inspiring. Every child killed by a preventable injury is one too many,” says Brees. “We don’t want parents, caregivers or policymakers to become complacent, but we do wish to praise and thank them for their past efforts to protect the children of South Carolina, which is evidenced with South Carolina’s Top 20 National Status in Child Safety.”  

The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report shows that, nationally, an average of 17 children a day, or 2,143 in total, died from May 1st to August 31st in 2004 due to injuries, many of which could have been prevented.

Summer is known to emergency personnel as “trauma season” since unintentional, preventable deaths and serious injuries to children increase dramatically. According to the Safe Kids Safe Kids Worldwide research shows that the most common causes of children’s unintentional injury deaths are:
-    Drowning (increases 89 percent in the summer over the annual monthly average)
-    Biking (increases 45 percent)
-    Falls (increases 21 percent)
-    Motor vehicle passenger injuries (increases 20 percent)
-    Pedestrian injuries (increases 16 percent).

Simple safety precautions such as proper-fitting helmets, fencing around pools, correctly-installed car seats and proper adult supervision can make summertime full of fun, instead of a season fraught with unintentional, preventable child injuries.

For a copy of The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report, visit

To learn more about Safe Kids Upstate, visit or call (864) 454-1100.