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How Can I Keep My Kids Safe Around Railroad Crossings?

Rapa Law Office, P.C. Feb. 18, 2021

Railroad tracks can be incredibly dangerous for children who are unaware of proper safety rules.

To keep your children safe around railroad tracks, you should teach them some basic rules. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt explains you should teach your children to stay away from railroad tracks whenever possible, but when they are near them or cannot avoid them, you want to make some simple rules to follow.

Train Basics

Explain to your children that a train cannot stop quickly even if the driver sees them on the tracks. Help your kids to understand that trains travel in all directions and a stopped train can begin moving without any warning. Make sure they know that the wind can carry away the sound of the train’s horn so they may not know one is coming until it is too late.

You may want to take your kids to see a train up close so that they can understand how big it is. It is very easy to underestimate the size when you only see them from a distance.

Safety Basics

Create basic safety rules for what your kids must do when around or close to train tracks. Tell them to always be alert and to not wear headphones while near the tracks. Insist that they never cross at any point other than a designated crossing and that when crossing they should not step directly on the rails. If riding a bike, they should walk the bike over the tracks.

Outlaw any type of play around or on the tracks. Lastly, before crossing, they should look both ways for trains regardless of any warning systems as systems can fail.