Trains have a way of captivating children — unfortunately, that interest occasionally leads to injuries and even fatalities, as many children don’t understand the dangers associated with trains and railroad crossings. In 2006, alone, 530 people were killed on railroad tracks in the U.S. Thirty-nine children under the age of 15 died in an accident involving a train during the previous year. SafeKids.Org offers the following Railroad Safety Quick Tips, designed to help parents teach their children about the dangers posed by trains:
- Lesson 1 – Always cross at a public railroad crossing. Crossings have a sign and most also have lights, a bell and/or gates.
- Lesson 2 – Cross the same way you would cross the street – look left, right and left before crossing the train tracks. Listen for the train coming and for a warning bell. If there are warning lights, watch for them to flash.
- Lesson 3 – When a train is coming, stand at least 15 feet (about 10 giant steps) away from the tracks.
- Lesson 4 – Never try to cross the tracks if a train is coming.
- Lesson 5 – When a train goes by, look both ways again before crossing. Make sure that another train is not coming. Many crossings have more than one track, which means there could be another train coming at the same time.
- Lesson 6 – Always walk your bike across the tracks to make sure the tires do not get caught.
- Lesson 7 – Never walk or play on or near railroad tracks. It is dangerous and illegal.
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