In case you’ve been under a rock, Pokemon Go! is a new mobile game that is sweeping the nation – in fact – the world. I love that it is brining kids, adults and even families together to engage in physical activity. However, there are things you should know so that you all remain safe while playing.
Pokemon Go! safety tips:
Avoid lures. While Pokemon Go! doesn’t allow any in-game chatting, there are still ways your children could put themselves in dangerous positions. A lure is something you can use in a game to draw Pokemon to your location. Others who are playing the game can see exactly where these lures are placed, and often will go where they are located in the hopes of attaining some cool new Pokemon themselves. Make sure your kids know to only use these in a public place, like a park or library, while they are with a group of friends, or with a supervising adult.
Abide the law. Did you know most parks have operating hours? Most city parks generally have a curfew that people are allowed, legally, on their grounds. Typically this is only when the sun is up. If your kids are out after dark, make sure they know the operating times of your local parks, so they don’t inadvertently break the law.
Avoid private property. Pokemon can show up in any place, not just public places. Make sure your children are aware that it is only safe to collect and search for Pokemon in public places, and not on private property. Pokemon can spawn in people’s yards, in, “employees only” areas, on railroad tracks, in roads, etc. While getting out and walking is a wonderful thing to encourage in our children, it can also be dangerous if they’re going places they don’t have the permission to go.
Stick with the buddy system. A group of two is still better than someone walking alone. Predators have faked playing this game in order to be able to mug people who are not as aware of their surroundings as normal. People in groups are always safer than people alone. Encourage your kids to walk and play this game with neighborhod kids, siblings, the family as a whole etc, so as not to be caught unaware, and alone.
Heads up while walking. While you might be trying to follow your Pokemon, it is important to keep your eyes up and pay attention to where you are walking. You do not want to walk into traffic, other people or even objects.
As with all things concerning health and safety, don’t assume your kids know these principles. Communicate clearly with them why it is important for them to adhere to these ideals to keep them safe so they can have the most fun without fear. Pokemon Go! can be tons of fun for kids and adults alike, let’s help keep each other safe while playing!