It is true that Pokemon GO is getting kids outside, providing them encouragement for physical activity, and helping them learn about new places in their hometowns. Unfortunately, this also means they are putting themselves at risk. As a parent of a child playing the game, it is important that you follow these essential safety precautions.
Don’t Let Teenagers Drive and Play
Kids (and adults) of all ages are playing Pokemon GO, so don’t be surprised if your teens are extremely involved in the game. They have their own cell phones, and might even pay the bill, so you don’t need to worry about in-app purchases since it’s all their own responsibility. However, even if this is the case, there are still some concerns. With more freedom, teenagers have a higher risk of getting into trouble while playing the game. They might be driving to a nearby PokeStop, and try to capture a Pokemon from behind the wheel. This is just as dangerous as talking or texting while driving and needs to be forbidden! While you can’t be in the car every time, if you catch them driving while playing take their cell phone away until they understand you aren’t going to be flexible about this rule.
Make Sure Kids are Watching Where They Walk
One of the fun things about Pokemon GO is the fact that you can go to real places in your community to hunt the Pokemon, instead of doing everything digitally like all the previous Pokemon games. Unfortunately, this means kids might be walking through dangerous areas with their faces in their phones, not watching where they are going! Kids have already been injured by not looking out for trees, phone poles, cars, and big rocks. Remind your kids to be careful and watch where they’re going whenever they go hunting.
Avoid Going to Secluded Spots to Find Pokemon
Nobody should be going to secluded spots to find Pokemon without having others with them, whether you have young kids, teenagers, or even young adult children living in your household. Reports have already come in about the dangers of going to certain spots after hours, where people are even being robbed. While this might be rare, it is still a risk to keep in mind as a parent. Set some strict boundaries about where your kids can go hunting, who they can go with, and at what time of day they need to return home.
Make It a Family Activity
An easy way to ensure your kids are being safe while playing the game is to play with them! This is quickly becoming a fun family activity. You can join battles together, have challenges to see who can catch the rarest Pokemon, and hunt at nearby locations to explore new places and have lots of fun together.