The 10 ESSENTIAL Rules Every Parent Must Teach About Pokemon GO
Pokémon GO – it’s the craze that is sweeping the nation world. However, with reports of people being attacked and predators using lures to attract children to Pokéstops, it is really important to keep safe while playing Pokémon GO, whether you’re young or old. So when you’re out chasing Pokémon, remember to follow this handy advice:
1. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings lest you be eaten by a Gyrados!
But seriously, it’s important to be aware of what is going on around you at all times. You may not get eaten by a Gyrados, but you do run a very real risk of wondering into the path of an oncoming vehicle, or into a not-so-favourable neighbourhood, while you’re not paying attention. If you turn on ‘power-saving mode’, your screen will darken while it’s by your side and vibrate/sound if anything appears.
2. Safety in Numbers
...it might go without saying, but it’s always wise to stay in a group while playing ‘GO. You’re less likely to be targeting by anyone with malicious intentions when there are a few of you together than if you’re wondering around alone- let’s be honest, someone wondering around with their phone out, not paying attention, is an ideal target for these kind of people.
3. Local Knowledge
...while it’s fun to get lost sometimes, it’s a good idea to have a general idea of where you’re going. You don’t want to accidentally find yourself in the bad part of town without realising it.
4. Timing is Key
...some Pokémon – Jigglypuff and Clefairy, for example – are more likely to be found at night. That’s fine, but again, wondering around with your phone out, by yourself, late at night, is just not a good idea. Try to stick to well-lit areas and keep your phone out of sight when possible.
5. Don’t Pokémon GO and drive
This should be obvious, and it kind of speaks for itself, but I just want to reiterate the point. It takes seconds for an accident to occur while you’re distracted, so leave the Pokémon hunting to your passenger.
6. Be Prepared
Pokémon GO can see you walking/running/jogging for miles, and you may well be out in all kinds of weather and terrains, so it’s important to keep hydrated and make sure you have snacks in case you end up miles from town or out in the midday sun.
7. Keep in Touch
Let somebody know roughly where you’re going to be, so if you do get in any trouble, they will know where to find you. As you’ll probably be changing locations a lot, try to message someone at home every hour or so to update them of your whereabouts.
8. Don’t Trespass
You’ve probably seen the warnings on the app, but seriously, do not trespass! You could end up in all sorts of trouble. It’s one thing to accidentally stumble on to private property, but don’t go scaling walls or hopping fences in your quest to catch ‘em all.
9. Stranger Danger
So I normally hate ‘Stranger Danger’ – most strangers are lovely, and at some point all of my friends were total strangers to me – however, it’s important to exercise some common sense when interacting with anyone you don’t know: don’t go anywhere with someone you’ve never met before and if you get to a Pokéstop or gym and there are people hanging around who aren’t playing Pokémon GO then leave and don’t talk to them.
10. Watch Your Wallet
Pokémon GO allows in-app purchases – players can buy coins which can be exchanged for items to help you in the game. This is great, but there are lots of horror stories of parents being hit with $300 bills from kids getting carried away with in-app purchases, so be aware of what’s being spent in game and try not to go crazy. You can also get coins by leaving Pokémon at gyms and obtaining a ‘trainer bonus’ – 10 coins for every Pokémon in a gym.
Pokémon GO is super fun and is mostly enjoyed safely, but follow these tips to make sure that you’re never caught out while you become the very best! And check out our free parent's guide to keeping your children safe whilst playing, "Know Before They GO!".