I used to play on railroad tracks when I was little. Play. On railroad tracks. Where there were trains running daily. Not only that, but my brother and I would collect empty shotgun shells found on those tracks. Empty shotgun shells. From active railroad tracks. Where there were guns firing daily. We would also play hockey under the bridges of the railroad tracks when the creek would freeze in the winter. We assumed it was frozen, anyway. And we built tree forts on limbs arced toward the train tracks. Where there were active trains. Daily.
Were we dumb? We were just kids. What about my parents? I think they could claim ignorance. They didn't know what we were doing on our 10-acre property. It's not like today, with kid-snatchers lurking on every corner (at least in our minds) and needing to know the whereabouts of your kids every second of the day. GPS tracking? Cell phones? Pffft, we didn't even have a cordless phone.
Maybe we were dumb. Maybe we were lucky. But we were free.