Pokémon GO has some parents excited that their kids are actually getting active while using their smartphones while others are concerned for their safety. Adults and kids alike are hunting down characters from this imaginary arena right here in the real world and it’s causing problems for some of those players.
The most obvious threat comes from people not paying attention to their immediate surroundings and becoming injured in their excitement to find and trap Pikachu or another character from this wildly popular game. But there are some other hidden threats present during game time and also some tips and tricks to avoid these problems.
In most of these types of games, losing an imaginary life will stunt your forward progress, but in this case a dead battery will not only interrupt their playtime, kids could become lost or lose touch with their parents. Leaving on an adventure with a full battery charge is a good idea, but a better plan is to carry along a portable charger for a boost of power in case of an emergency.
It’s actually a real thing, a Pokémon Stop is a place where these little characters can be found. They can be in a public park, a place of business, but what about a bar or nightclub? There are many other inappropriate places that your child needs to avoid when immersed in their gameplay. Some users have reported locating the little creatures in cemeteries, on actual gravestones, in front of a sexually explicit mural, near an Iraqi war memorial and at a Hell’s Angels club.
Limits and Boundaries
Because of these locations and other concerns, children need to understand some limits and boundaries when engaging in this mobile game. Depending upon their age, they shouldn’t travel too far from home and as mentioned previously, there’s some obvious places they should avoid. Kids should also use the GPS to be aware of their exact location so they can avoid wandering onto private property or other places they don’t belong.
Luckily for parents, GPS works both ways, not only can children find their way around, parents can also track them on during their adventures using a variety of apps. While some argue that this may be an invasion of privacy for today’s kids, remember that you’re paying for that device and you deserve to know where they are at all times.
Once we were warned to stay away from someone offering us candy, which soon graduated into a warning about a person offering us a chance to play with a puppy. Today, we should be cautioning our children to avoid strangers who want to help them to locate a Pokémon prize. Child safety advocate, Callahan Walsh also warns parents to tell their kids to use these four tips:
1. Don’t play without first getting parental permission or supervision
2. Never play alone and always take along a Pokémon pal
3. If a stranger offers them assistance, tell them no
4. If anything unusual or out of the ordinary occurs, tell an adult immediately
While we can’t be with them at all times, we can still offer them ways they can play safely. The same is true whether they’re walking home from school, playing in a park or searching for an imaginary character on their smartphone, the same rules still apply.
With a little common sense, following some rules and using some safety measures, there’s no reason your little one shouldn’t go in search of Pikachu and her pals. Remembering safety first will ensure their outdoor adventures go off without a hitch.