Start the school year right. Teach kids the rail safety basics

September is here. And for more than 5 million Canadian children, that means it’s time to head back to school—whether they like it or not. But a new school year doesn’t just mean long days sitting in classrooms. It can often increase the chances of kids coming across railway tracks—and this can spell danger if they aren’t given the proper information. “They may be going to a different school, or they may now be going to high school, and it’s important that if these new schools are in an area close to a railway track, parents—and teachers—take the opportunity to educate kids on the railway warning signs and on respecting railway property and railway tracks,” explains Raynald Marchand of the Canada Safety Council. “It’s also important for parents to educate their children about how heavy a train is and how they will not hear a train coming because it is pretty silent.” Marchand says that September’s shorter days can also increase the chances that people—including kids—might be tempted to use tracks as a shortcut. “Now that it is dark much earlier, it gets cold and windy, and people are sometimes in a hurry.” So, before your kids hit the books this fall, make sure they review rail safety basics—it could be the most important thing they learn this school year. It could save their lives.