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A Parents Guide to Pokemon Go Safety
Author : Carolyn Eagle, Senior Editor, Health Media Today Category : Parenting
Pokemon Go is a craze that is sweeping the nation this summer and as a parent, chances are your kids are either playing it already or begging for you to download it. In a nutshell, this game uses your smartphone’s GPS and clock to make Pokemon appear around you so that you can catch them. Pokestops or Pokemon Gyms are the places where players can power up, and vie for virtual domination so they are commonly found in communal areas like parks, churches, and community centres.
Without understanding the intricacies of the game, you can use it as a great way to get your kids walking. Younger children thrill at the idea of capturing and collecting these adorable characters and you can lead expeditions around your community that will keep them moving. For older kids and teens who will want to go off and hunt without parental supervision, though, here are some tips that you may want to share with them before they head out:
Safety In Numbers
This game relies on the use of smartphones, usually being held out in the open for anyone to see. Theft is a real issue so there is safety in numbers. Encourage your child to form a team or go hunting in groups or pairs.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It seems silly, but there have been some cases of injury with this game. The excitement of catching Pokemon means that you may be staring more intently at your phone than your surroundings. Walking into objects or tripping are very real hazards.
It may not seem as relevant for older kids but Poke stops and Gyms are hubs of gaming activity where you are likely to encounter other players. While most exchanges are friendly, this is also a competitive game, so remind your kids to be wary of the information they are sharing with strangers.
Don’t Get Lost
Another seemingly ridiculous warning, but it is easy to keep following the trail of Pokemon until you’re in unfamiliar territory. Another reason to remind your kids to be aware of their surroundings.
Be Respectful of Private Property
This virtual game can lead to real-life consequences if you’re found trespassing on private property. Remind your kids that the game randomly generates Pokemon creatures regardless of your surroundings