Bike safety, made fun (and loud)

November 01, 2022
A female physican holds up a miniature street sign for elementary school students
Pediatric emergency pediatrician Elle Greer, D.O., knows kids like props and prizes. So when she showed up to Daniel Island Elementary School to teach bike safety, she was fulled prepared. Photos provided by Berkeley County School District

Melon. Noggin. Dome. Noodle. Coconut.

There are dozens of clever terms for the human head but only one right way to protect it when you’re riding a bike – by wearing a helmet. 

According to Kids Safe Worldwide, a nonprofit that works to keep kids and families safe, every week more than 2,000 children will end up in emergency rooms across the country due to bicycle-related accidents. And many of them could have been prevented by the proper use of a helmet.

A horizontal stack of two photos. Top, a physician holds a model of a head wearing a helmet to the kids. Below, a wider view of dozens of seated students listening to the physician 
Top, Dr. Greer shows the proper way a helmet should fit while (below) Daniel Island Elementary School students listen.

MUSC Health pediatric emergency physician, Elle Greer, D.O., recently visited the kids at Daniel Island Elementary School, with the goal of educating them on that very fact along with plenty of other safe riding tips. But, of course, teaching young kids about safety isn’t always the easiest of tasks; after all, they need motivation. But Greer is no amateur. She came equipped with giant road signs, a giant Styrofoam head wearing a helmet and, of course, a giant bag of prizes. And because she did all this outside, being noisy wasn’t frowned upon; it was actually encouraged.

“I mean, what kid doesn’t like to be loud and boisterous,” she said.

Sadly, over the years, Greer has seen her share of frightening trauma cases involving children. She feels a responsibility to her community to prepare kids as best as possible in the hopes of eliminating some of those accidents in the first place.

So when a parent reached out to MUSC about having someone come to speak to the kids, then-MUSC Health pediatric trauma injury prevention coordinator Christa Green had just the person in mind. 

“Dr. Greer is phenomenal. I knew it would be great,” Green said. “And the feedback we got from the parents afterward was out of this world. One parent, who lives a block or so from the school, told me she could hear the kids yelling and laughing from her back yard.”

For Green, connecting with the kids energized her in a way that reminded her of where she began her medical journey.

“You know, the funny thing is I majored in public health in undergrad,” she said. “We focused on teaching people to make smart choices so that they could live longer, healthier lives. But now, here I am doing the opposite – working in emergency medicine and treating them after they’ve gotten hurt. So it’s nice to see these kids in their daily lives and not the ER, where I feel like I can help them maybe avoid anything really bad from happening.”