In Australia there are about 20 serious railway (train related) accidents per year with children aged under 19. Some of these are obviously fatalities. The older a child is, the more likely they are to be injured (they are more likely to 'play' near railway facilities and possibly be involved in a car/train collision).
The top accident types for children in Australia are:
- Pedestrian injured in collision with train
- Car occupant injured in collision with train (older children)
- boarding or alighting from train
- falling from the train
- falling in the train
In the UK there are approximately 40 accidents including fatalities at level crossings. A similar number are injured or killed every year at the PTI ('passenger train interface') at a railway station
Railway Safety Tips
Follow our guide below to help minimise these incidents to your children:
- Be very careful with children when at passenger train interfaces i.e. when boarding or alighting. Keep an eye on children vigilantly at all times and hold hands if required.
- Don't allow children to open windows and lean out during train journeys. Keep them well supervised.
- Be aware injuries occur when falling in trains (e.g. hitting heads against tables if knocked off balance). Consider ways to minimise this.
- Don't allow children to play near railway facilities
- Train children on railway safety. There are some amazing online games, activities. See the grow-wings children's site
- As a minimum, ensure children know the following AND the reasons why:
- Not to play near railway facilities,level crossings and railway bridges. For example don't play with a ball on a platform or near rail lines.
- Never climb through or over railway fences next to railway tracks
- To take care when boarding or alighting trains
- Never to climb on railcars or trains in case they set off
- Not to play in rail boxcars in case they get trapped inside where they may not be found
- Not to put anything on a rail track
- Not to throw anything at a train
- When children learn to drive, make a point of going over the safety procedures around level crossings.
- Don't fly kites or fish anywhere near overhead electric railway cables
- Discourage railway graffiti
This great set of resources from Network Rail has excellent Safety Information for Parents. This includes : 'Parents fact sheet on level crossings safety', 'Rail Life Safety Guide', 'Using level crossings' and 'Film - Crossing Over'.