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Why you need to be careful taking babies to MLB ballparks

Yesterday a dad caught a foul ball at a Cubs game while holding (and feeding) his infant son. Should you try to catch a ball while holding your kid?
He’s been hailed as an “amazing dad” for his feat, which I have to admit really was a pretty amazing catch. He actually had to reach out and make an effort, with his kid dangling in his arms, to snatch it out of the glove of the player. And he’s not the only parent holding a kid who has been able to snag a ball at a Major League Baseball game this season.

Behold, this dad at a Phillies game last month:
And this mother at an A’s game just a few days ago:

However, no matter how cool the Cubs fan’s catch was, I don’t have to spell out that there are some pretty serious dangers you can face as a fan at an MLB game. And unfortunately, common sense and reason can fly out the window when you see a ball approaching you. Is it awesome to catch a ball? Yes. Should you put your kid in danger to do it? No.

MoreThis dad doesn’t realize how supportive he is until he posts this photo

While you attend a ball game for fun, you have to be aware of everything going on around you at all times. And you have to be aware of potential dangers… such as the Dodgers player at the Cubs game potentially deflecting that foul ball onto your baby’s head, for example.

And what about this stellar parenting example who actually drops his child so he can catch a ball?

It’s also important to keep your child in mind even if you’re trying to save yourself. Kids don’t always pay attention to the game and can easily get knocked on their heads, which is exactly what would have happened here if these kids’ older sibling hadn’t reached out and caught the homer (note the adult to the left who actually tried to get out of the way as a ball comes hurtling toward the little kids).

The bottom line is that not every baseball-watching experience has a happy ending. People can and are injured by balls and bats at MLB games — notably, a woman recently got a baseball bat piece to the head and was seriously injured at a Red Sox game.

More: Ryan Reynolds and babywearing: You’re doing it wrong

Should you stop taking your kids to the game? Nope. You just have to do a few things to make sure they stay safe and uninjured.

  • Don’t reach out to try to catch a ball while you hold your baby.
  • Definitely try to catch a ball if it’s going to drop on your baby’s head.
  • Stay aware of what is going on during the game.
  • Protect your kids who may be injured by a flying bat or ball.

Admittedly, it’s pretty alarming how fast things can change during a ball game, and it’s easy to get sucked into the many distractions there are both on and off the field. It can also be quite difficult to get out of the way if an object comes flying toward you, and it can be a matter of self-preservation as you try to get out of the way.

No matter what, though, your responsibility extends beyond your own hide if you bring your kids to the game. Don’t put your child in danger for a souvenir, and make sure you try to save them if they are in the path of a hurtling object.

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