Pokemon Go is fun, but play safely!

Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 12:12:57-04

The North Tonawanda Police Department issued these 7 Pokemon Go safety tips:

• Stay alert at all times.
There have already been reports about minor injuries because players weren’t paying attention. Parents—have a talk with your kids about how important being alert and aware of your surroundings is. Having your head buried in your phone, without looking up occasionally, can lead to serious injuries.

• Play with a group.
Don’t Pokémon GO alone. Whenever venturing out, take along a friend, especially in unfamiliar areas or at night. It’s just much safer to go with a group.

• Be careful at night.
If you have the urge to catch ghost Pokémon, make sure you aren’t going anywhere you wouldn’t normally feel safe. Keep your screen brightness up so you stay illuminated. Wear reflective clothing or a headlamp so drivers can easily see you. As mentioned previously, don’t do it alone—bring along a friend or, better yet, a group of friends.

• Don’t play while driving.
This may seem obvious, but the game has caused at least one needless accident. You should never be on your phone while driving ever. Your life or the life of another is worth more than a Pokémon. Enough said.

• Be mindful of your battery life.
The game has a knack for getting players to meander for hours. This raises the chances of getting lost and since the game’s GPS overlay takes a lot of battery power, you could find yourself in a situation with a dead phone in an unknown part of town.

• Realize ANYONE Can Play.
Interacting with other players in your area is part of the game. Users can create a lure module to lure Pokémon, but this means players can be lured, as well, and this makes predators a real risk. Parents—always supervise your kids.

• Do not trespass.
If there’s a sign posted that says “no trespassing” or if your app is leading you to a place you shouldn’t be going, respect the law, the rules surrounding the area you are in, and other people’s property.
Pokémon GO is an exciting new game unlike any other. But players (and their parents) should realize the risks and take the above precautions.