McMaster Children’s Hospital has begun issuing warning about the hazards of playing the popular Pokémon Go app game, after the hospital’s ER was flooded with Pokémon trainers this past month.
The Hamilton, Ont. hospital says at least a dozen kids have been treated for Pokémon Go-related injuries, with kids paying more attention to trying to catch ‘em all, rather than their surroundings and safety. They believe Pokémon injuries are even higher, with some patients keeping the source of their injury a mystery.
“This isn’t a reason not to play the game but video games such as Pokémon Go may inadvertently lead children into dangerous places or situations,” said Dr. Anthony Crocco of Hamilton Health Sciences in a statement.
Thankfully, the majority of injuries so far are minor, mostly bruising and sprained ankles. These incidents are caused by the aforementioned obliviousness to what’s around them while hunting digital pocket monsters.
“So many of the injuries we see in the Children’s Emergency Department can be prevented,” said Crocco. “We also encourage parents to make sure that their kids are playing in a safe location and using appropriate safety gear.”
Apart from injured Pokémasters flooding their ER’s, hospitals seem to be in a constant battle with the app. Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has already had to warn players from dropping lures (in-game items that attract more Pokémon) inside or on hospital grounds due to safety reasons.
If Pokémon Go continues to be a pain for Canadian hospitals, they may take a leaf from the book to our Southern neighbours. Seven hospitals in the United States have banned Pokémon Go from their premises, stopping people from wandering in areas where they shouldn’t be.
Yes, even if there’s a Snorlax or Vaporeon in one of the hospital’s wings.