Pokémon Go is all the rage these days. So much so that it’s already passed the popular app Tinder in number of downloads, and it will soon pass Twitter in daily active users! With this many people enjoying this game, safety is quickly becoming a real concern. Follow these 5 simple safety tips to make your gaming experience more fun and most importantly safe for your family.
1. Never #PokemonGo Alone.
The best way to get yourself in trouble is to wander around in unfamiliar places all by yourself. Add to this the excitement of finding a new Pokémon while staring diligently at your phone, and you’re sure to end up doing something unsafe. To be safe, make sure to go out in groups of at least 2. If you’re going to be somewhere unfamiliar, it’s best to make sure there’s an adult accompanying any minors.
2. Be aware of your surroundings.
There are already several news stories of people getting injured by walking into signs, trees, and curbs because they just weren’t watching where they were going. This seems a little silly, but it doesn’t take long to get so into looking for a new Pokémon that you just stop watching where you’re walking. There’s even been some reports of people randomly walking out into the road while staring at their phone. Be safe. Pay attention.
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) July 12, 2016
3. Stay in well lit areas
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you or your kids are playing at night, there’s a good chance you’ll be led off the well-lit path to find a rare Pokémon. Don’t take unnecessary risks by walking into a dark place where there could be someone hiding. As unbelievable as it might seem, there have already been reports of burglaries and assaults while playing Pokémon Go.
Bring a flashlight so you can see and stay in well lit areas as best you can.
4. Never play while driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle
In the age of always-connected devices, we tend to get distracted quickly by dings and pops on our phones letting us know that something new is waiting for us. This is even more pronounced when playing PokémonGo. The temptation to pull out your phone and scan your surroundings everywhere you go is getting stronger every day. And it only seems to make sense that you can cover more ground if you play while driving or biking. DON’T. Resist the urge. Warn your kids of the dangers of distracted driving. More than 3,000 teens die each year in texting and driving accidents. That’s more than are caused by drunk drivers. In 5 seconds of distraction, you could go the distance of a football field without seeing the road. Pokémon Go is a real danger in distracted driving. Don’t drive distracted.
5. Set boundaries for your kids
While most of the places this game will take you are public places or landmarks, there have been reports of a few being found in places that are not kid-friendly (e.g. adult stores and night clubs). Give your kids some simple limits that help them have fun while keeping them close to safe and age-appropriate locations.
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) July 11, 2016
The Pokemon Company International and Niantic, Inc. released the following statement:
We are aware that some incidents have occurred involving fans playing Pokémon GO. We encourage all people playing Pokémon GO to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends when going to new or unfamiliar places. Please remember to be safe and alert at all times. We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Pokémon GO and greatly appreciate the support of our fans.
Check out 3 ways Pokémon Go can be a great family activity and get the fun started!