NSPCC Warning Over Pokemon Go

15 July 2016
NSPCC Warning Over Pokemon Go

I've yet to fully immerse myself in the joys of Pokemon Go but needless to say my lads have been running around our street shouting about Snivy all afternoon.

But the NSPCC warns that the latest gaming craze may present dangers to kids - and should not have been launched in the UK until these had been satisfactorily resolved.

A spokesperson for the NSPCC said:

"It's deeply troubling that the app's owners have ignored many warning signals and well documented child safety concerns. It would have been better if they had taken time to reflect on these and put their young users first. Pokemon Go is setting a precedent as the most successful reality game app on the market. It's very disappointing that child safety isn't at its heart."

Initially I was a fan of the idea of Pokemon Go - this would surely mean that my kids would spend less time sitting around glued to their screens and more time actually moving around outside. But it's unsurprising that critics have questions about safeguarding issues with Pokemon Go.

After all, it's tracking your location, literally eating data, and encouraging your kid to make in-app purchases for starters. That said, I'm still pretty excited about the possibility of playing Pokemon Go with my kids.

Instead of moaning every time I announce that we're going for a family walk, they're likely to fire up the app and start begging to be allowed to bring their phones. It might not be a recipe for family togetherness but it beats the usual whining about not wanting to leave the house.

I've laid down the law about what is and isn't allowed when it comes to my kids playing Pokemon Go, and I'm taking the NSPCC's point seriously. I intend to monitor the way my kids play this game and use the opportunity it creates to talk to them about what it means to stay safe online and when playing in augmented reality.

But we'd like to hear your thoughts on Pokemon Go. Is it something your kids are likely to want to play? And if so, how do you feel about the NSPCC's warning? Join the conversation on our Facebook page or leave us a comment below.

If you want to know more about the game and the safety advice issued by police here's our guide for parents.

TOPICS:   Parents


  • Donna S.

    Nope they won't be playing it not a chance.

  • Rebecca S.

    I've downloaded it to my phone and have been chasing the beasties all afternoon with my kids, we have no intention of swapping or chatting to others. It has certainly made walking a lot more fun lol We did a similar thing a couple of years ago hunting Rhinos and will be hunting Zebras this year. As with all these things as long as there is a good level of parental control it can be fun. X

    • Rachel A.

      I see it as a bit of fun with kids over summer,as long as young kids are supervised,can't see a problem with it.Gets them out in fresh air instead of watching TV or playing on games machines.

    • Rebecca S.

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Lynsey G.

      We've done exactly the same here. We walked for 2 hours this afternoon. Loads of fun and loads of exercise.

    • Rebecca S.

      We live in Southampton and a couple of years ago there was a rhino trail and this year there are zebras, Bristol had Gromit dogs to find. We had a fun afternoon and got some funny photos. As I said as long as there is parental control then it can be great fun for the family! X

    • Sara H.

      Same me and my son played he loved it so did I :grinning:

    • Rachel A.

      We had beat the street in our area last year,walked loads more with my youngest child,she loved it,also have a turtle trail in town where they are hidden in shops and you find them.Gets kids out and spend quality time with kids and it's free.

    • Jo E.

      Well said! My thoughts exactly!! Although I was mooching about in my own earlier looking for Pokemon!! Lol X

    • Rebecca S.

      I've just caught one in the bedroom haha!

    • Shanna M.

      Think I'm more into it than the kids! Had them trekking through the woods when we were walking the dog last night chasing one :joy::joy: xx

    • Josey G.

      Same here! It's something I've downloaded for just myself & my 8 year old to have fun together. We've walked loads these past 2 days, anything that gets him out & active is great in my eyes as he struggles with his weight x

  • Leanne K.

    I hear ya!! So bad!! :-( x

  • Shell C.

    Seriously everything in life has warnings but as parents we all do what we think is best. I'd rather my children play this than in front of the Xbox!! Lovely sunshine, fresh air and exercise plus a load of fun!!

  • Sarah H.

    Yes under my supervision only

  • Rebecca S.

    NSPCC has raised concerns over children's location being tracked and having to use data to track the Pokémon. X

  • Claire S.

    I think its a gd idea.het kids out of the house instead of being cooped up in bedroom playing xbox/playstation.

  • Deanna W.

    Pokestops are at public places and places of interest.. Park entrances post offices train stations.. Pokestops give you things like poke balls and potions so if one was outside a ses shop you are there for 2 seconds swiping the screen to get the balls and off you go.. strip clubs arnt open in the day so that's not a problem and Ann summers are in the middle of town. As I said Pokestops are at places of interest... you can use a lure to lure pokemon to the Pokestop. You can't lure them to random places ONLY Pokestops which again are in public places such as post office ect but you would only know pokemon were there if you were really close as in a few streets at most so if people are luring to rob someone it's gunna be out in the open.. it's all about common sense; don't go anywhere dangerous on your own weather you are playing Pokémon or not

  • Kerryann B.

    How everything gets so serious :see_no_evil: it will die down eventually and then there will be something else to moan about

  • Lianne K.

    You all whinge n moan about this....yet sitting in a room tapping away at imaginary candy is ok?? :joy::joy:

  • Safaa M.

    it's just a game, a little common sense is needed

  • Jo S.

    Ffs, if anyone allows their child out in the streets with no supervision or a talk of how to be safe that's one thing. The app however is a great thing, compare it to the war games and all the others that have kids stuck to a device indoors. Children should be outside!

  • Carla S.

    People saying it's better than sitting in front of the tv or playing computer games.. Okay, whilst walking round like a zombie staring at your phone. How about kick a ball at the park, no technology required :joy:

    • Katrina M.

      Plus it beeps when there's 1 near......so I'm told :wink:

    • Joanne B.

      Me and my children went looking for Pokemon today, we had great fun, in between catching them we encountered loads of wildlife on our way, great fun.

  • Jessica J.

    I'm sitting my eldest who is 12 down this weekend and setting out some strict rules, if he doesn't like them or agree to them then he can't have it x

  • Colin W.

    I fail to see the problem here. We moan if they stay in and now we moan if they go out. Who exactly is tracking our kids? Just the game, not some peado. Loads of games have in app purchases - that is nothing new, disable it. I might change my mind once I understand the game more, but so far I don't see a problem. The article actually does not even spell out what the NSPCC are concerned about.

    • Kirstine G.

      I think the danger is u can set a lure for the pokemon which also attracts other game players to the area, it has been uaed by people to mug others and lure children into an area. Hope this helps, personally i think if a child is old enough to be out by themselves they are in as much danger with or without the game x

    • Colin W.

      Thanks for the heads up

  • Hannah I.

    Why do you think its bad? Just wondering thats all :)

  • Michelle S.

    My son is older and I'm glad it's going to get him outside and moving more I have the app too so the only buddy he will be friending will be me x

  • Jessica S.

    I've just downloaded the app to my phone thinking I could do it with my 8 and 5yr old. I don't really understand it all fully yet as neither have ever been into Pokemon but will see how we go. I'm assuming it's a bit like geocaching?!

  • Mandy R.

    Gets the kids outside and moving about. Fun for all

  • Kelly W.

    Don't mean to burst ur bubble but I think there's more adults than kids that have actually downloaded this app :joy::joy:

  • Emma S.

    Parks, playgrounds, outside the school gates, sweet shops, toy shops...pretty much anywhere children gather. all these lure spots have been around for ever. Pokemon or not.

  • Emma S.

    Let's all just enjoy the game, which gets kids out and about, and look out for our fellow, younger players if we happen to be at a pokestop?

  • Claire M.

    I downloaded it on my phone for us all to play together since I'm the only one with gps and the kids aren't allowed to roam around alone. Looks like will be fun for a family activity, not to mention cheap n cheerful which not many things in the school holidays are!!

  • Hassan K.

    Mans on a mission to catch'em all cant stop til it's done

  • Aimee S.

    It hasn't actually been used to lure any children anywhere. That's all media scaremongering that it COULD happen; no actual reported cases. But that could only happen if parents are stupid enough to let children who would approach a lure alone, out on their own. The game is harmless, and as others have said, there are more young adults playing the game than children! It's a parental responsibility to not let your child out wandering the streets alone, not the app developers.

  • Sara J.

    Only time my child will be following them is with me or his Dad on our phone. Quite fun getting out and about finding them!!

  • Kathy B.

    I have already banned my 11 year old from having it. Her response? I don't need my phone to get some fresh air mum, I can make up my own games! Pokémon is just weird. Who am I to argue?

  • Lisa W.

    Definitely not!!

  • Kerri-Leigh F.

    Yes, Exercise, fresh air and great fun. Killjoys trying to spoil things as usual.

  • Amelia L.

    No I won't!

  • Maria W.

    First day we got it we went walking for an hour and half , love the fact my son enjoyed walking somewhere .Think like with any game online common sense and talking to your child about online dangers should be set first . It's a great little app which encourages kids to actually want to go outside .

  • Leanne C.

    It is so silly. Want your kids outside, without being glued to their phone. Total fail.

  • Hayley M.

    Kids are set up through an adult account and profiles are set to be hidden, and in app purchase....they don't have the password

  • Vicky M.

    what I like about this is its got lots of parents and kids doing stuff outside - together and yes of course they could b playing football or making up their own games but the point is a lot of them don't so if it's making them Move and enjoy spending time together it sounds good to me and it's good fun. Goes without saying stay safe online but that's not unique to Pokemon

  • Isobel-Ricky M.

    My kids are all to young to play it

  • Nicki M.

    To be fair. It's the people in the late/ish 20's that love it more. It was a big thing back in their early teens. Kids today don't know the real pokemon so they don't care.

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