Posted on 21 July 2016
I am sure that by now you have heard of the phenomenon getting people out of the house and roaming the streets, phone in hand, hot on the tail of virtual creatures ... Pokémon Go a location-based augmented reality mobile game has taken the world by storm but as with everything online, caution must be taken.
You can download the game from the App or Google Play store for free and it requires a Google account or you can sign up for a Pokémon trainer club account to play the game. Beware of data usage while playing and in app purchases. It is also worth carrying a power bank with you as this app can drain battery power fast.
Once the game is set up, it requires you to venture out into the real world to catch the different Pokémon that come up on your mobile screen in game. This is great for getting your child outside to exercise but on the other hand dangerous, stay alert.
There's Pokéstops (Spin these to receive items such as Pokéballs, potions ect) and Gyms (Where you can battle other players in the game.) in different locations normally public places such as pubs, parks, churches, or restaurants, but don't worry you do not have to enter these buildings just stand close by when your player is in range.
There have been reports about several people luring players into traps by using an item called a 'lure', bought with in-app tokens that can cost real money! These 'lures' are dropped at 'Pokéstops' and attracts rare Pokémon for 30 minutes. There have been reports that these can be used to lure children to certain areas in the hope of catching rare Pokémon.
It is recommended that players stay with friends and stay together in a group rather than venture out alone, it is a case of safety in numbers when it comes to strangers and dangerous people taking advantage of the game.Always make sure your child stays safe and is made aware of the dangers and their surroundings.
Make your child aware that they do not need to keep looking at their phone screen; as long as the game is open their phone can stay in their pocket and will vibrate when a Pokémon appears. Players must remain aware of their surroundings or accidents will happen, remind your child to remain extra vigilant around roads and other obstacles. There have been several reports of accidents but if your child remains cautious there should be no danger.
Pokémon Go is a fun game for all ages but parents must be wary and make sure their child understands the situation and to stay safe at all times. Additionally, why not download the game yourself and enjoy the task to 'catch 'em all' together!