Prioritize safety for children around machinery

When it comes to accidents, it's common to think, ‘oh, it will never happen to us.’

Dear Editor,

When it comes to accidents, it’s common to think, ‘oh, it will never happen to us.’ That is what we thought until our six-year-old son, Roan, a member of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, lost his leg in a lawnmower accident.

A few years ago, Roan was riding on a lawnmower with an adult when he fell off and severed his left leg at the knee. As he was airlifted by helicopter to the hospital, we wondered if we were going to see him again.

With lawn cutting season here, we want to help spread Roan’s message across the country that kids should never be around a lawnmower. It doesn’t matter how good you are with machinery, it just takes a moment for a life-changing accident to happen. Today, Roan is an active and energetic child thanks to help from The War Amps with financial assistance for artificial limbs, regional seminars and peer support. We just hope that his story will prevent even one child from being injured.

If you would like to learn more about how to encourage children to play safely, please visit

Jolene and Neil Heck