When you're waiting for the train to pass in Fort Collins, your first thought is most likely a swear word, and probably not about railroad safety.

But it should be — especially if you're a parent.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping kids safe from preventable injuries, a child is killed in a train collision every five days.

Part of the reason this number is so high is that parents are not educating their children about railroad safety.

"The majority of parents actually do not consider children being hit by trains to be a problem," said Nadji Kirby, Senior Program Manager of Domestic Road Safety for Safe Kids Worldwide, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "In some areas...you just don't see a train all of the time. You don't think that 'oh, maybe this time the train could be there.' And they [parents] just don't know the facts."

This is why it is so important for parents to talk to their children about railroad safety. Parents can get that conversation started with these five easy tips:

  1. If you have to cross the train tracks, make sure is at a designated crossing. Crossings are marked with signs, lights, or a gate.
  2. If lights are flashing at a railroad crossing, that means it is not safe to cross.
  3. Give yourself space at railroad crossings. Trains are usually three feet wider than the tracks.
  4. Avoid using cell phones or other devices near railroad crossings. Be aware of your surroundings and oncoming trains.
  5. Do not trespass on the train tracks, even it if seems like a shortcut.

"Just as if you were telling them [children] about how to cross the street on a regular basis...it's just the same kind of safety reminders to them when they are in or around trains or train tracks," said Kirby.

To learn more about railroad safety, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Nadji Kirby below.

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