Pokemon Go: Big Draw, Big Distraction

It’s the latest craze sweeping the country. People everywhere are playing Pokemon Go, the smartphone app that allows you to walk around your environment searching for Pokemon.  It can be a great way to get some exercise, however the game also brings distractions that could cause potential safety concerns.

Injuries related to the game are making headlines around the world. Police in Auburn, New York reported that a man playing Pokemon Go crashed into a tree.  In Japan, authorities reported numerous incidents including a child who was playing the game while riding a bicycle crashed into another bicycle and suffered minor injuries.

During an appearance on NBC Connecticut, Kevin Borrup, JD, MPA, the associate director of the Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, offered some advice for parents on how to keep their kids safe.

“It seems to be a fun game. It gets them walking around but as you might imagine, it’s a phone, they have to look at it and it’s a huge distraction,” said Borrup.  “People are being hurt.  Broken bones or even worse, some real critical injuries.  There are lots of slips and falls, and kids are walking into traffic.”

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Borrup offered these tips for Pokemon Go players and their parents:

  • Parents should be aware of the distraction the game poses for their children and talk to them about how to play safely.
  • Parents should exercise appropriate supervision over children while they play the game.
  • When crossing a road, players should put their phones down and pay close attention to where they are going.
  • Play the game with a friend so both can watch for potential hazards.
  • Go only into areas you know and avoid private property.
  • Avoid playing the game at night when hazards are more difficult to detect.

Our other Connecticut Children’s Blog offers additional insight into how to stay safe while playing the game.

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