The Pokémon Go app has become hugely popular in our county (and internationally) since its release on July 6. However, there are safety concerns you should be aware of if you are a player, parent of a player or just someone who sees Pokémon Go players out and about.
You should become familiar with the game before allowing your children to download the app. Pokémon Go is a multiplayer game where users may run into other players in the real world as they search similar areas. Take steps to keep your kids safe:
- You and your kids should discuss who they can interact with when they go out into public to use the app.
- Kids should never play the game alone but in a supervised group.
- Know when and where your kids are playing.
The game has a “lure module” that leads the players to various locations to win points and catch Pokémon characters. These locations are called Pokestops. Pokestops have been found at public places such as libraries and parks. For example, here are three stops near the Government Center:
But stops are also on private property, empty lots or even cemeteries. Players may not realize they are trespassing in restricted areas and may draw attention of law enforcement and residents. Please, don’t trespass. You can catch Pokémon without going into or onto property.
Please do not enter our fire stations, including open apparatus bays. Our firefighters and medics respond to emergency calls 24 hours a day. At any given time, they may be called to an emergency and a distracted pedestrian causes a dangerous situation for responders and trucks leaving the station.
We are thrilled that so many folks are coming to county parks to play. During your visit, take time to learn a little about the natural and cultural resources surrounding you using our trails map.
Playing the game requires you to frequently look at your phone, so we ask you to take these precautions:
- Be sure to keep looking around to see where you are. We don’t want you walking into a tree or a yellow jackets nest or bumping into other people.
- Pay attention to the time; our parks close at dusk. (Staff will chase out the Pokémon then, too.)
- Please stay on the park trails even if the Pokémon don’t.
— Fairfax County Parks (@fairfaxparks) July 13, 2016
— Kathy L. Smith (@SullySupervisor) July 14, 2016