There are many areas of transport that pose safety risks for children and railways and trains are one of them. Whether you’re likely to travel by train regularly with your children, are going on a train trip on holiday, or live in close proximity to a railway, it’s vital that children understand that railway and train safety is just as important as Road Safety.
Safety at Train Stations
Some young children are fascinated by life at stations – they like to watch what is going on, see the trains pull in and watch people getting on and off them. While there certainly is a lot going on in railways stations, and plenty of train action to see, there’s also many potential dangers for young children.
Even though it may look an intriguing place to them, it’s important to instil in children the fact that stations are busy, working places where there are dangers. One of the crucial issues to ensure they understand is not going too close to the edge of the platform, especially when a train is going in or out. Ideally, young children should hold your hand at all times when on a station platform, to reduce the risk of them running off on their own, and especially when getting on or off a train.
Safety on Trains
When children are on trains, there are safety issues to be aware of too. If it’s a standard train on a regular railway line, then it’s best to encourage children to sit down on their seats with you, rather than wandering away. Trains can be busy, with a lot of people getting on and off and moving luggage around, and it’s easy for children to get in the way of what other people are trying to do.
Additionally, it’s important to keep them away from the doors of the train, especially if you’re not getting off yet. They need to be aware of the gap between the train and the station platform, as young children in particular could easily fall down through this gap.
Keep them Preoccupied
If you are travelling on a long train journey with children, then it’s helpful to go equipped with plenty of things to do to keep them amused for the journey. Where possible, take items such as books to read, colouring in to do or small toys to play with. Other passengers will also appreciate it to have entertained and well-behaved children in their carriage, rather than unruly ones!
If you’re on trains at any theme park or other special venue, then always check to see what the safety recommendations are and abide by the rules. Don’t let children stick their hands out of the windows, for example, and ensure they’re strapped in if they need to be.
Safety Near Railways
If you live near a railway, or have a railway crossing near you, then it’s important to ensure children, both young and older children or teenagers, know that railways can be danger zones. Instil in them the importance of never wandering onto the railway lines – both in case a train suddenly speeds towards them, and as the lines may be live and they could be electrocuted.
If there is an unmanned railway crossing nearby, then teach children how to wait for the appropriate lights to show before you cross the tracks. Aim to supervise younger children with using such crossings at all times.