McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ont. is issuing a warning over the dangers of playing Pokemon Go after seeing a flood of patients into its emergency room in the past month.
The hospital said at least a dozen children have been treated for injuries related to playing the popular virtual game. Officials believe the numbers could be higher as some patients don’t always reveal the cause of how they got hurt.
“This isn’t a reason not to play the game but video games such as Pokemon Go may inadvertently lead children into dangerous places or situations,” said Dr. Anthony Crocco of Hamilton Health Sciences in a statement.
Officials say the injuries thus far have been minor such as bruising and sprained ankles. The hospital warns these incidents are a sign children are not paying close enough attention to their surroundings when out on foot trying to catch the digital pocket monsters.
“So many of the injuries we see in the Children’s Emergency Department can be prevented,” said Crocco. “We also encourage parents to make sure that their kids are playing in a safe location and using appropriate safety gear.”
Just last month, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children warned players to stop dropping lures to attract the pocket monsters inside or on hospital grounds as it raises safety concerns.
Several hospitals in the United States have reportedly banned Pokemon Go as some people have wandered into areas they shouldn’t.