Pokémon Injuries Begin Trickling In, Tips to Stay Safe

July 14, 2016

We’re here for life’s little emergencies, including those sustained in the latest Pokémon craze.

PokémonGo is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game that was released worldwide this month and catching on with tremendous speed. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train a virtual Pokémon. The game has received mixed critical reception as it should. It has been praised by some, for potentially improving the mental and physical health of players, but has attracted controversy due to reports of accidents in many locations. Within a week of release, it has already become the most active mobile game ever in the United States, with more than 21 million players.

Locally, in just the past few days, our physicians have seen a number of patients with related injuries. While we’ve heard stories of players increasing their physical fitness and finding creative ways to spend time outdoors, we can’t help but mention several cautions for those involved. It’s critical that players keep an eye out for potential dangers, including heat related injuries such as dehydration and sunburn, as well as, taking certain measures to protect themselves against moving vehicles and sometimes dangerous location sharing with strangers.

NYPD put out a list of safety tips to help control the chaos that could ensue from the games‘ continuation. With reports of players being lured into fake Pokéstops for robberies, as well as a mounting list of accidents, the police department put out an alert.

The list from NYPD includes:

-Stay aware of your surroundings

-Play in pairs or as a group to ensure your safety

-Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or use another devices while interacting with the app, you can not do both safety

-Do not trespass onto private property or go to areas you usually would not if you weren’t playing the game

-Be aware of, or tell your kids about, “stranger danger” as the app may draw strangers together in real life at “Pokéstops”

-Be aware of 3rd party software apps claiming to enhance the gaming experience that could potentially give access to sensitive data such as personal information

Our physicians have seen a myriad of issues, from trips to falls, resulting in broken bones. We’re here when it comes to urgent care, but we also want to caution you to use good sense as you get outside and include Pokémon into your next outdoor adventure. Our clinics are open 7 days a week, and with 17 locations in Central Texas we are available to you 365 days of the year.

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