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Playing popular mobile app leads to emergency

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Lane Smith (Photo courtesy of Medical Center of Lewisville)
Lane Smith (Photo courtesy of Medical Center of Lewisville)

A Flower Mound teen is warning others of the dangers of distraction after playing Pokémon Go landed him in the hospital.

About 9 p.m. Tuesday night, Lane Smith, 18, and a friend were playing Pokémon Go when they noticed a Poké Stop at a nearby park.

Focused on his cell phone, instead of his surroundings, Lane says it was his friend that noticed a moving “stick” in the path. By then, the small brown snake, suspected to be a copperhead, had wrapped around Lane’s foot and bitten his toe.

“The first thing I did was text my friends,” Lane laughed from his hospital bed at Medical Center of Lewisville.

Within minutes, Lane says his foot began to swell and he could feel pain spreading up to his thigh. His parents rushed him to Flower Mound Emergency Center.

Lane was quickly assessed and treated, and then transferred via ambulance to the main hospital.

Doctors determined Lane did not require antivenin to treat his injury. He was released less than 24-hours later and is recovering at home.

Though Lane says he’ll continue to play the game, he also has a warning and advice about the dangers of distracted playing for other Pokémon Go gamers:

  • Always go with a friend or group, never alone.
  • Don’t go out at night when visibility is low – stay in well-lit, populated areas.
  • Be cautious in grassy or wooded areas – day or night.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, including closed-toe shoes.
  • Don’t play in streets or when driving a car.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. The app will buzz your phone to alert you when a Pokémon is near, so you can watch where you are walking.
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