By Lauren Smith
Unless you left planet Earth for the month of July, you’ve probably heard about the latest craze that’s pretty much taken over the entire world: Pokemon Go.
Some of us on the Heads Up team have caught the Pokefever, myself included.
I’ve become absolutely hooked on this scavenger hunt-type game for a few reasons: it’s gotten me up from my desk for lunchtime walks, I’m exploring different parts of the city, and I’ve also met other players on my Pokestrolls. It’s connecting people in a new way and getting players to be more active, which I think is pretty rad.
However, in the few short weeks since Pokemon Go was launched in Canada, reports have been piling up of players injuring themselves while out catching Pokemon.
So, for the Pokemon Go players among us, let’s review some important safety tips to ensure you stay safe as you level up:
Keep your head up (and your phone on vibrate)
As we’ve said before on the blog, distractions are dangerous. Whether you’re on the job or jaunting around town, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing. Although playing Pokemon Go does require you to be on your phone, make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings. To help, turn your phone’s vibration alerts on so your phone will vibrate when a Pokemon pops up! That way you don’t need to stare at your phone to see if any Pokemon appear and you can be alert as you walk around. When you need to catch a Pokemon or fiddle with your app settings, stop and take a break until you can return your focus to your surroundings.
Go-ing from 0 to level 20
In order to have any success with the game, you need to be active. Whether it’s wandering around different neighbourhoods in search of Pokemon or getting your kilometres in so you can hatch those eggs.
If you’re not used to being on the go for extended periods of time, your body will quickly notice the increased activity. It’s a good idea to take frequent breaks to give your body a rest while you’re out hunting Pokemon, and bring a water bottle with you to keep hydrated.
I’d also highly recommend comfortable footwear when you’re heading out for extended Pokemon Go sessions. Just like you wouldn’t work without the proper gear, think of proper footwear as part of your PPE (personal protective equipment) for being the ultimate Pokemaster.
Real-world rules apply
Although Pokemon Go is digital, it requires you to navigate the real world to hunt for Pokemon in your environment. It’s easy to get caught up in the virtual reality of the game, but it’s important to still follow real-world customs: private property is off limits, construction zones are unsafe and to be avoided, and it’s considered disrespectful to play Pokemon Go in some areas (such as memorials, places of worship, hospitals, etc.). It’s best to stay safe and be courteous by exploring public places like parks, which I’ve found are often littered with rare Pokemon!
Do you have any tips on how to stay safe when out catching Pokemon? Comment below or tweet us at @HeadsUpAB!