As you may be aware, a new game has recently launched in the UK called Pokémon Go. It uses augmented reality to display Pokémon characters in real places, which are visible using a phone or tablet’s camera.
Children play the game by following a map on their phones to find these characters. Whilst the idea is a great concept, the game has many potential dangers which we feel you need to be aware of, should your child play the game over summer.
The game can potentially lead children to unfamiliar places, creating physical risks and also potentially meeting people they do not know. If your child is playing this game, we have put together a few ideas for parents to speak to your child about:
- Be cautious about alerting strangers to where you will be in future. Be careful where you leave ‘beacons’
- Always be cautious when going to a ‘beacon’ as anyone can set one up, including people you do not know.
- Always pay attention to your surroundings and what is going on around you. (Head-in-phone syndrome!)
- Do not just stare at your phone. Make sure you look around and know who is near you.
- Where possible, play with friends and stay in a group
- Avoid playing near roads
- Play at home – You can use lures to attract Pokémon to you
- Keep your device safe – You can still play with your phone out of sight, it will vibrate when a Pokémon is near
- Keep an eye on your battery life as the game drains your phone.
- Always let your adult know where you are going to be
- Be mindful that the app has ‘in –app’ purchases
Remember, this app can be great fun but as with all online games and apps safety must be a priority. There is no app to keep your child safe, please speak to you child.