If you take a walk around your city and see people looking at their phone while walking, chances are they are playing Pokémon Go. This nintendo game has taken Canada by storm! And it’s timing couldn’t have been better, right in the summer break when youngsters have lots of time to spare. So, is it all good fun or is there something to consider before letting our kids get hooked in this Pokémon Go craze? Here we give you some pros and cons of kids playing Pokémon Go to think about.
The good side of kids playing Pokémon Go
It’s mostly played outdoors
Kids can certainly play Pokémon Go at home, but the fun of this game is that there are Pokémon around the neighbourhood, at the park, at stores, they can be anywhere you go to! So kids are encouraged to go out, exercise a bit, and be outdoors for extended periods of time. That’s always a good thing, especially in the summer!
It encourages social interaction
The mother of a 6 year old Autistic child shared her incredibly positive experience with Pokémon Go on Facebook. She explains how, thanks to Pokémon go, her Autistic child is interacting, verbalizing, and sharing something in common with other kids.
Along similar lines, Psychology Today says Pokémon Go may help with social anxiety and even depression. Kids can go out to play on their own but they may be surrounded by others doing the same thing. So kids may not feel as fearful of being in such a seemingly social environment. But since so many kids are probably playing Pokémon Go, it makes it easier to start conversations and make friends.
The downside of kids playing Pokémon Go
Kids are outside, but distracted on their phone
There are distracted drivers, but what about distracted walkers? If you google Pokémon Go accidents, you’ll find a surprisingly large number of reported injuries and major accidents. From walking into doors, bushes, and trees to crossing streets and highways without looking! Two men fell off a cliff while playing Pokémon Go! So having to constantly look down at your phone can be dangerous for kids.
Too much screen time?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that screen time for kids be limited to “no more than one or two hours per day.” They explain that excessive use of technology and media can lead to a number of negative issues, including attention problems, learning difficulties, and sleep disorders. So it may be a good idea to limit your kid’s time playing Pokémon Go, if too much screen time concerns you.
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As parents, it all comes down to balance and personal values. If they aren’t yet, your kids will eventually want to play the game everyone else is playing. So weigh the pros and cons because as soon as your kids start playing Pokémon Go, they’ll quickly get hooked on this popular craze!