Hold up before you Pokémon GO!

Charizard may be in your neighborhood, but watch where you’re going

Pokémon GO has taken Android and iOS users by storm — so much so that the company’s servers collapsed due to users’ response to the new version of the beloved game many millennials grew up playing.

The new generation of Pokémon has players of all generations walking between the real world and a virtual world thanks to their smartphones’ location services technology. While holding their phones’ in front of them, players try to catch the challenging, synchronizing Abra.

While we applaud the fact that Pokémon GO gets players up and moving, it comes with caution. It’s easy to become distracted while walking and trying to catch Bulbasaur.

Every hour in the United States, a teen pedestrian is injured or killed after being hit by a car.

“Distractions like Pokémon GO, or any mobile device app, take the child’s eyes and ears off of what’s going on around them. It’s hard to hear cars and see cars or other hazards in their environment while looking at their device,” said Erika Janes, R.N., Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Prevention & Wellness of Norton Children’s Hospital.

Stay safe while playing Pokémon GO by encouraging your child, teen (and self!) to follow these safe walking habits:

  • Put down phones and headphones when crossing the street.
  • Cross at a traffic signal or crosswalk when possible, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
  • Look up, listen and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Be especially alert when it’s dark out, and make sure you’re visible to drivers.
  • Be aware of others who may be distracted — and say something to them.

Take action against distraction. In addition to following these tips, be aware of others who may be distracted as well. And never, ever play while driving. Accidents are already being reported due to people playing Pokémon GO while driving.