Two Israelis have been taken to hospital in the last 24 hours after sustaining injuries while playing the new popular Pokemon Go app game.
A 35-year-old man sustained moderate injuries on Thursday morning after he crashed into glass in Rishon LeZion while hunting virtual characters.
He had a broken leg and a deep gash wound. Magen David Adom paramedics who tended to the injured gamer said that the man was lying next to a glass door which had smashed.
“He was bleeding from his leg. He told us that he began a chase for one of the characters, didn’t notice the door and smashed into it. We gave him first aid treatment which included stopping the bleeding and bandaging the wound and evacuated him at the same time in moderate condition,” said a paramedic.
In a separate incident on Wednesday night, a 15-year-old girl was severely injured after she fell off her bike while playing the game in Karmiel. She was rushed to the Medical Center Of The Galilee in Nahariya having sustained injuries which included a cracked skull and intracranial hemorrhage. She is now reported to be in moderate and stable condition.
Dr. Ze’ev Sunis, general manager of the children’s emergency treatment unit, said that this summer has seen a stark increase in the number of children being injured as a result of the new popular app game and the number of accidents involving electric bikes.
“Unfortunately, many parents are unaware of this new game and also of the dangers of riding electric and regular bikes without protection. The Pokemon has become a trend which makes people, mainly young people, not recognize the dangers on roads, miss ditches in their path, etc. Awareness has to be raised about the matter to prevent the next accident,” Dr. Sunis added.
The girl’s mother told paramedics that she only learned about the game the day before when her daughter told her about it: “You think they are talking about another app game that they play while sitting in the house or in the yard. I didn’t know that it involved going outside to chase virtual objects, which can sometimes be dangerous. Hopefully the incident with my daughter will be the last,” she said.
The girl’s mother also urged parents to speak to their children about the dangers of the game. “It can end in serious injuries and even death. It is important, especially during the summer months, for the media and educational institutions to launch an extensive campaign explaining the dangers and the routes which should be avoided.”
The application, which was produced by gaming giant ‘Nintendo,’ is based on Augmented Reality (AR). Pokemon Go allows players to hunt for so called "pocket monsters" by pointing their smartphone camera lens at their real-world environments, in which the virtual pokemon will then appear on-screen.