Safe Crossing Week 2008: Safety partners call on parents to teach their children how to keep safe at railway crossings

    TORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Safe Kids Canada and CN today launched Safe
Crossing Week 2008, a national educational campaign focused on keeping
Canadian children safe at railway crossings and away from trains. From today
through Oct. 26, more than 100,000 young students in more than 600 elementary
schools across Canada will learn about safety at railway crossings in their
classrooms with special lesson plans and educational material developed by
partners Safe Kids Canada and CN.
    Last year in Canada 84 people were killed in incidents involving
trains.(1) Education about rail safety can help prevent many of these deaths.
Teaching rail safety to children at a young age is vital in both urban and
rural areas, especially as urban centres are growing and more housing is built
near railway tracks.

    Parents: Now's the Time!

    This year, the Safe Crossing Program is focusing on parents'
responsibility to talk to their children about rail crossing safety and safe
behaviour around trains and tracks. With the theme Parents: Now's the Time!
Don't wait for a tragedy, the safety partners are urging parents to talk to
their young children now - to teach them important life-saving safety rules to
prevent a possible tragedy.
    "Talk to your children about rail safety and teach them about staying
safe around trains and railway tracks," says Pamela Fuselli, executive
director of Safe Kids Canada. "Be aware of your child's abilities based on
their age and stage of development. Younger children need to be supervised.
When you walk with them, use the opportunity to talk to them about rail
safety. Older children can learn to make safe choices, if they have been
taught as they grow."
    There are 73,047 kilometres of railway tracks and approximately 55,000
public, private and pedestrian highway/railway crossings in Canada.
Recognizing that education is a critical prevention strategy, Safe Kids Canada
and CN continue to build on their successful Safe Crossing Program, which
began in 2005 as a one-day event and was expanded to a weeklong campaign since

    Safe Crossing Program expands for 2008

    In 2008, more than 600 Canadian elementary schools are participating in
Safe Crossing Week, an increase from 300 schools in 2007. The schools received
a Safe Crossing Week package, which includes: Safe Crossing school
certificate; improved lesson plans and activities incorporating rail safety
and other safe practices into language, math, social sciences, art and
physical education classes for kindergarten to Grade 6 students; Safe Crossing
Week posters; student activity booklets; and interactive web-based teaching
    Once again this year, CN Police officers from coast to coast will conduct
trackside classrooms with elementary school children, showing them how to
cross railway tracks safely and holding school assembles for large school
groups. CN employees across the country will also volunteer to talk about
railway safety in their children's schools. A new addition this year is the
participation of several children's hospitals that will hold Safe Crossing
story time with young patients.
    The Safe Crossing Program supports parents with an online toolkit to help
them initiate dialogue and prompt questions from their children. There is a
fact sheet for parents to help them understand rail safety, a Staying Safe
Around Trains activity booklet for kids, and lots more kid-friendly resources
and fun activities to engage children in learning.
    To access teaching tools for Safe Crossing Week 2008, visit or call 1-888-SAFE-TIPS (723-3847).
    In the United States, Safe Crossing Week 2008 takes place through a
partnership between CN and Safe Kids USA.
    The Safe Crossing Program is a part of CN's All Aboard for Safety
community education program through which CN Police officers have been
promoting railway safety for more than 25 years. Part of the strength of the
All Aboard for Safety program is the collaborative relationship CN shares with
major community safety organizations: Safe Kids Canada, Operation Lifesaver,
Safe Communities Canada, SMARTRISK, Safe Kids USA, Safe Communities America
and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Every year, CN Police officers make
All Aboard for Safety presentations to more than 300,000 students and adults
in schools and at community events in Canada and the United States.
    Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among children in
Canada. Safe Kids Canada collaborates with partner organizations across the
country to conduct research, raise awareness, educate families and advocate
for safer environments to protect children from injury. The toll free
1-888-Safe-Tips line and answer questions from parents
and partners about child injury prevention, education, advocacy or research.
The rail safety program funded by CN is one of the prevention programs
provided by Safe Kids Canada. Safe Kids Canada is the national injury
prevention program of SickKids.

    CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway
subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert,
B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key
metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth,
Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and
Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more
information on CN, visit the company's website at

    Video News Release (VNR) available on satellite:
    Monday, October 20, 2008
    10:00 - 10:30 and at 14:00 - 14:30 Eastern
    Anik F2, C-Band, Transponder 3B @111.1 West
    Vertical Polarization, D/L Freq. 3820MHz.
    Audio subcarriers 6.8 left, 6.2 right

    For assistance with the feed, call: 1-800-565-1471

    (1) Operation Lifesaver, Railway Crossing and Trespasser Accidents for
        December 2007, Table 2,

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: To schedule an interview with Pamela Fuselli,
executive director, Safe Kids Canada, please contact: Media contact: Denyse
Boxell, Project Leader, Safe Kids Canada, (416) 813-5118,

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