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For the last week or so, everything – and we do mean EVERYTHING – has revolved around the record-breaking game Pokémon GO. You cannot turn the corner without seeing a gaggle of children (and let’s face it, some adults, too), walking around with their noses buried in their phones, trying to “catch them all” as they seek out elusive Pokémons. Players are outside in the fresh air, getting plenty of exercise and meeting new people who share the love of the game – what could be better than that?
The problem is that all of this “distracted walking” is leading to some pretty serious injuries for the players. Reports are coming in from sources around the country, claiming that players are spraining their ankles, tripping and falling (which leads to cuts and lacerations) and developing serious cases of sunburn, because they are outside too long without using or reapplying sunscreen.
We want you and your family to continue to enjoy the game, but we also want you to be safe. Here are a few things you can do to avoid a serious injury while playing Pokémon GO:
- Never attempt to catch Pokémons while driving. There have been some false reports about auto accidents that “allegedly” occurred while drivers were throwing Pokéballs. Still, the danger exists, as it is possible to play while the car is moving. Driving too slowly, stopping short and making sudden turns can all lead to an auto accident, even if it’s the passenger who is playing.
- Take a look at your surroundings. Trips, slips and falls are among the leading Pokémon-related injuries. When your face is buried in the phone, you may miss dips and rises in the sidewalk, or holes or broken pieces of concrete.
- Bring more sunscreen. You can still develop sunburn even with cloud cover. Most sunscreen wears off after an hour or two, and running around in the heat means you could be sweating off the protection. Make sure you and your child are reapplying sunscreen throughout the day.
- Keep a hold on your child’s hand. If your child is still young enough to warrant hand-holding, then he or she is still young enough to run off impulsively. Keep a close eye on small children so they do not run into another person or directly into traffic.
- Respect private property. Keep a respectful distance from your neighbors’ homes while you play. You never know whether or not the family dog will become aggressive at the sight of people on the lawn – especially if you think it’s okay to hop a fence into the backyard. Besides, it’s simply good manners not to intrude where you haven’t been invited.
Pokémon GO is a fun game, and it is encouraging people to move more and interact with their surroundings. Just be careful while you’re out and about, so you can enjoy playing without fear of injury.
If you have been in an auto accident, or have sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligence, we can help. Silverman, McDonald & Friedman fights for personal injury victims throughout Maryland. To schedule your free appointment with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Newark, Wilmington or Seaford, please call 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form.