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Living in Essex we are super lucky to have lots of great places we can visit on the train. Often, with the price of parking, and the congestion charge, it is cheaper for us to travel by train, especially into London. Recently I’ve been discussing how to stay safe on the railways with Daisy, with the help of a new FREE e-book from Network Rail and Thomas & Friends.
As we’ve been home for several months now, like most people I’m sure, Daisy is itching to go on an adventure soon! We’ve been using our time at home to brush up on a few things, such as school readiness with Daisy learning to dress herself, and how to write the alphabet etc, and recently we have also been discussing how to stay safe on the railways, with the help of this lovely Stay Safe with Thomas e-book from Network Rail.
Reading is such a great tool to use with your child to start opening conversations in all areas of life, and Stay Safe with Thomas is a lovely e-book that isn’t scary, but has the Fat Controller talking about important topics around rail safety.
Our previous home, which we moved from in September 2019, was about 2 minutes walk from the train station. Since moving we are a little further away from the train station, but I do feel that knowing how to use the railways safely is really important, whether you live near the railway or not.
As a child I lived near a railway bridge and we would often see people trespassing on the railways, and taking unnecessary risks just to save 1-2 minutes walking time on their journey. I want Daisy to grow up knowing that it is NEVER worth the risk to life of trespassing, or being reckless around trains and railways, just to save a little bit of time.
Thomas goes on an exciting railway adventure, around the railway tracks, visiting stations and level crossings, and the book has the familiar characters that most little ones know and trust.
Personally I feel that the book covers the subject of how to stay safe on the railways without feeling scary, intimidating or going too deep into things. It was great to see explanations of why things shouldn’t happen, and examples of good behaviours to carry out, and I feel that Daisy has picked up some lessons from reading through the book a few times.
I really think that reading this book to pre-school age children, such as Daisy, is a great way to start the conversation around rail safety at a younger age. I hope that by making it clear to Daisy how to stay safe on the railway, on the trains themselves and the platforms, and while out exploring the countryside that runs alongside the railway where we live she will take those life lessons into her older childhood years, when she may be out with friends, without me or another responsible adult.
Shocking stats about discussions around rail safety
Mumsnet conducted a survey recently that was quite eye opening to me. As parents 94% of us talk to our children about road safety, but only around 1/2 of parents talk about rail safety, and Network Rail want us to all start having more conversations designed to keep our children safe on the railways. 3 in 10 parents have NEVER discussed rail safety with their child. 4 out of 5 parents asked felt that they SHOULD be having a discussion around rail safety but 1/3 of parents don’t know how to have that conversation. Every year there are an increasing number of children who trespass on the railways, take risks or who just don’t know how to stay safe, and it is our duty as parents to ensure we do what we can to keep our children safe.
I’ve found the book really good to read with Daisy, and I especially love that at the end there is a little checklist, which covers all of the ways that you can stay safe on the railways. Things that are particularly important to us are ‘staying with my grown-up at the station’ and being ‘stood back from the platform edge’.
I also found it really engaging that the book had the Fat Controller telling Thomas to ensure gates are closed when out exploring with family. In January 2018 I was delayed locally because a herd of bull had been able to escape onto the track and one was sadly killed. It was only then that I became aware of just how common it is for members of the public to accidentally damage fences or gates, or just leave them open, and lead to accidents on the railway.
Daisy had great fun on our adventure together in the garden, playing with her new cardboard train, and it was good to feel like I’m teaching her a life skill that may keep her safe for years to come. If you’ve got little ones I encourage you to download the free book today, Stay Safe with Thomas, and start having an open conversation with your little ones about how to stay safe.
This post has been created as part of a paid advertorial with Mumsnet and Network Rail.