Many parents not worried about train safety, report finds
At an event in Elmhurst Friday marking National Rail Safety Week, experts urged parents to talk to kids about the dangers trains pose and how to stay safe.
A child or teenager in the U.S. is killed every five days in a train collision, National Transportation Safety Board, Metra and DuPage Railroad Safety Council officials said.
At greatest risk are teens ages 15 to 19, and boys are three times more likely to be hit by a train than girls, a report by Safe Kids Worldwide found. The time most children are hurt occurs after school dismissal.
Yet less than half of parents surveyed had warned their children about train hazards, the report noted.
With so many railways crisscrossing the city and suburbs, "teaching children about rail safety should go hand-in-hand with educating them about how to look both ways before crossing the street," Union Pacific executive Liisa Stark said.
Easy tips children will understand include:
• Only cross the tracks at a designated crossing that has a sign, lights and gates.
• Never walk along the tracks.
• Wait until gates are up, lights have stopped flashing and bells have stopped ringing before entering a crossing.
• Always look for a train while at a crossing. Put away your device, phone or headphones when walking across.
To learn more, go to Safe Kids Worldwide.