[AD] ‘Stop, look, listen, think before you cross the road.’
This is a road safely saying that was drummed into me as a child and I have passed this down to my own children over the years. Road safety of course is something of upmost importance and is taught to our children at home and in schools…but how many of you teach rail safety to your children?
As regular train users I am embarrassed to say that the limits of my teaching to the children have been to stand behind the yellow line on the platform and to move away from closing doors. I naively thought that this was all they really needed to know and never considered this of any great importance; and it looks like I’m not alone – a Mumsnet survey shows that only half of parents that were asked had spoken to their children about rail safety, compared to a wapping 94% that had spoken about road safety. 3 in 1 parents have never discussed rail safety with their children, even though 4 out of 5 of them think it should be spoken about and this seems to stem from parents not knowing how to start the conversation which resonated with a third of those asked.
If you really take time to think about this the dangers of the railway are just as great as those on the road and even if you do not live near a railway station or use a train regularly, teaching our little ones about rail safety is of upmost importance and the need for it to be taught at a very young age is so great as their learning can then be carried through into their teenage years.
As I said earlier a third of parents didn’t really know how to broach this subject and this is why Network Rail have got together with the lovable and familiar characters – Thomas And Friends to teach children how to stay safe.
For those of you familiar with Thomas And Friends he is a pretty cheeky character who is always up to mischief and my youngest two certainly have many of the same characteristics. Looking for fun rather than considering dangers that can be involved is something I always need to keep an eye on with them and I’m sure many of you have the same issues with your children.
‘Stay Safe With Thomas’ allows parents to approach the subject gently with their children, allowing them to learn in a fun an interactive way with their special book.
I turn to books to aid me in a whole host of subjects I find difficult to navigate, so having Thomas And Friends there showing children the dangers of not stopping at level crossing, standing to close to the platform and much more allowed me to broach these subjects where the children could put their self into Thomas and his friend’s shoes.
There is also a super handy checklist at the end of the book that can be referred back to time and time again to reinforce all those dangers they need to be keeping an eye out for.
As well as being able to purchase a paperback copy there is an easy to download electronic version which would be great to refer to when you are out and about and using the railway.
I would love to know how many of you already speak to your children about this or if it is something you will now consider engaging in.