'Pokémon Go' puts pedestrians in harm's way

10-15 percent of children in trauma center were hit by motor vehicles

SAN ANTONIO – Parents are being warned to remind their children to be aware of their surroundings.

Doctors fear that the new craze Pokémon Go is putting children in harm's way.

"Like I just crossed the street without looking," said Lillian Liao, the pediatric trauma and burn director at University Hospital looking up from her smartphone while trying out the new Pokémon Go app.

She wanted to see what all the hype's about.

"It's luring me into the street part," she said crossing the street without looking while trying to catch Pokémon.

She said it's easy to get consumed in a game with a camera feature that makes everything feel real.

Liao said children lose the sense of their surroundings, and in the height of the game, it could lead to them getting seriously hurt.

Simple logic is easily lost especially for a young mind, Liao said. She said it sounds like common sense, but people should use a crosswalk when they cross the street.

Liao said most children aren't using a crosswalk when they're hit.

Surgeons at University Hospital's trauma center said about 10 to 15 percent of the children they see were hit by a car while walking.

"That's pretty significant. Out of about 1,400 trauma patients we take care of you're talking about over 200 pedestrians that were struck by a moving vehicle," said Liao.

Children are distracted by all sorts of things these days: talking to friends, horseplay, walking and texting and checking apps on their smartphone. Pokémon Go is just another thing to worry about.

Liao said to make sure they're being smart and playing safe if your children are playing on their way to and from school.

Doctor's orders.