"Pokemon Go" is Latest Lesson in Digital Distractions

July 18, 2016

Nintendo’s new "Pokemon Go" game is taking the country by storm. While it’s encouraging people to get active, it’s also shedding light on the dangers of digital distractions.

The location-driven smartphone game, which is sending people on real-life missions, comes with reports of injuries nationwide – from running into trees or doors to spraining ankles in the process – and it’s also sending users into poorly lit or restricted areas.

“Hospitals, urgent cares and doctor’s offices are meant for patients and their families, so we really urge game players to steer clear of medical facilities,” said Chandra Hazen, clinical nurse manager at Mercy.

As an organization dedicated to health and wellness, Mercy supports the health benefits that may be gained by community members of all ages who are enjoying Pokemon Go. However, safety and security concerns for patients are a priority.

The issue has even prompted the National Safety Council to issue a warning to pedestrians and drivers. Here are a few tips for smartphone users:

  • Put down phones and headphones when crossing the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
  • Be especially alert when it’s dark out, and make sure you’re visible to drivers.
  • Cross at a traffic signal or crosswalk when possible.

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