"Should I let my 5-year-old child play Pokémon Go?"
Is Pokémon Go safe for kids?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ve probably heard about Pokémon GO. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s hard not to understand the game’s appeal. Mix 90s nostalgia with augmented reality gameplay and you’ve got yourself an instant hit.
One curious ParentTown user asked anonymously about its suitability for a young child:
Pokémon Go is geared towards adults and teenagers, but that doesn’t mean that young kids can’t play it too. However, it’s important that you and your child are aware of the game’s dangers.
Supervise young children at all times.
For a child as young as 5, going out alone to play the game is obviously unsafe, so make sure that you’re with your child at all times. “As long as you are around when he is walking around catching Pokémon, it is safe!” wrote Idza B. “It's a very fun and educational game. A lot of math, strategy, and creativity is needed to successfully play the game.”
You can walk around with your child and ask them to "throw" the Pokéballs for you. Be warned: pretty soon, you'll probably be hooked on the game yourself!
How about older children? Click to the next page to read what parents should be aware of.
If your child is older and you already allow them to go out and play by themselves, you can first shadow them as they play the game, pointing out the hazards and laying out the ground rules. Here’s what they should know:
Stay aware of surroundings
“There are some safety concerns as well (such as not looking at the roads) being voiced out, so it is important to educate your child to observe safety while playing the game,” wrote Jacq N. The thing about augmented reality is that you’re out and about in the real world yet looking at your phone screens. This is a recipe for disaster, and since the game’s release, many Pokémon Go-related accidents have been reported. Remind your child to look up frequently and to never cross the street while looking at their phones.
There have been multiple reports of players being lured and robbed by Pokémon Go, so it’s important that older kids understand the dangers. Make sure the Kids may think that just because they and another person are both playing Pokémon Go, they should be friends. This false sense of familiarity should be addressed before it happens—stranger danger still applies to fellow Pokémon trainers. And of course, teach your kids to stay in well-lit areas with lots of people around.
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