Healthy Living

Pokemon GO offers fun, risks for players

Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm, and if you’re not playing it, you probably know someone who is. The mobile app allows users to hunt Pokemon using GPS tracking in real locations around the globe.

And while it’s great that players have to get off the couch and step into the light of the great outdoors to “Catch ‘Em All,” there have already been reports of players having accidents in search of those elusive digital monsters.

Two men trying to collect characters in California had to be rescued after falling off a 90-foot ocean bluff.  Another player said he fractured a bone in his foot after just 30 minutes of game play, and a gamer in New York wiped out on his skateboard, perhaps on the hunt for Ditto and Ghastly.

The game’s potential to cause injury even had the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons issue a warning.

“We love that these games are bringing children and adults outdoors and encouraging exercise,” Dr. Alan S. Hilibrand,” AAOS spokesperson and a Philadelphia-based orthopedic surgeon, said in a press release. “But we also want everyone to be mindful of their surroundings as they enjoy this activity. Walking while looking at your phone or electronic device can result in sprains, broken bones, and other serious, even fatal, injuries.”

If you’re injured walking around at 2 a.m. in the morning looking for Snorlax, you may be covered if you have the right type of insurance.

Accident insurance pays a benefit directly to you if you sustain an injury that’s covered by your policy and need treatment, like breaking a toe running after a Koffing. You can also get coverage for your game-playing spouse and dependents, too.

Hospital indemnity insurance can pay the cost of co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses not covered by major medical insurance. So, if you take a spill that lands you in the hospital for a few days, this coverage can help you manage your expenses.

And remember, even if you see an Aerodactyl hiding in a tree, something as simple as a back injury could mean time off work – and without pay. That’s where disability coverage can help. Disability insurance can pay a portion of your lost income. And since this coverage pays you directly, you can use the money as you need.

So, while you may be covered as you take to the streets searching for Mewtwo, it’s important you still listen to the advice of the game maker: “For safety’s sake, never play Pokemon GO when you’re on your bike, driving a car, riding a hoverboard, or anything else where you should be paying attention.“

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