Parents: Make rail safety part of your March Break plans

A big part of a parent’s job is to keep their children safe. But some dangers are easier for them to spot than others. Most kids would instinctively know not to pet a growling dog or run across a busy four-lane highway. But other dangers are much less obvious—like railway tracks and trains.
Many children don’t instinctively understand the hazards associated with tracks and trains. And if they aren’t taught the rail safety rules, it can end in tragedy.
In October 2018, a 6-year-old girl was killed when she was struck by a commuter train in Calgary. The little girl had wandered outside and onto the tracks while her mother was busy getting her kids ready for school. When the commuter train approached, the girl reportedly became confused by the warning bells and lights, and ran back in front of the train’s path.
Sadly, tragedies like this can happen when children don’t know how to behave around railway tracks and trains. Taking the time to provide them with age-appropriate information can ensure they have the tools and knowledge they need to stay safe.

Make learning rail safety fun for younger children
Learning the rail safety rules doesn’t have to be a chore. For younger children, Operation Lifesaver’s storybook-style presentation, Train and the Whateveritwas, is a great resource. Through a colourful and engaging 6-minute animated story, children are encouraged to stay rail-safe by heeding a simple, but important, message: “Train or Track? Just Keep Back!”

Or why not get your child to play CP’s RailSense game featuring Cornelius the Conductor? This fun, interactive game teaches children how to be safe around tracks and trains—and gives them the chance to earn their own Conductor badge!

Teach older kids the rules—and the consequences of breaking them
Older kids need to understand what the different railway warning signs and signals mean, and just how dangerous trespassing on railway tracks and property can be. OL’s “Train your brain” activity sheet is a great way to teach them about rail safety in an entertaining way. 
Teenagers are most at risk of being involved in a trespassing or crossing incident. Watching our #STOPTrackTragedies videos will drive home just how dangerous tracks and trains can be. Each video tells the tragic story of someone—often a young person—who took a risk around tracks and paid the price. (Warning: these videos can be disturbing.)
Make rail safety a priority this March Break
No matter what age your child is, take the time to make sure they know how to stay safe around tracks and trains. March Break may be a chance for kids to forget about school, but it doesn’t need to be a break from learning—especially when what they’ll learn could save their lives.