Going to baseball games is a summertime activity that many Americans look forward to each year. But while you’re root, root, rooting for the home team (if they don’t win, it’s a shame), be sure to make safety a priority so that your stadium experience is more like a home run than a strikeout. Whether you’re headed to a major league or a minor league baseball game, keep these tips in mind to increase your chances of staying safe at the stadium.
- Stay hydrated. Baseball games can get really hot, and not just because the competition is so heated. If you’re attending a game when the weather is hot, it’s vital to keep hydrated with water and other fluids (such as sports drinks that contain electrolytes); this is especially important if you’re sweating and/or your seats are in the sun. Looking to cut costs and not buy marked-up drinks at the game? Some (but not all) stadiums even allow you to bring in your own water and other non-alcoholic beverages if they are unopened and not in glass containers. Before you head to the game, research the stadium’s policies on outside food and drink being brought into the stadium.
- Use sunscreen. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, there’s still the potential for sunburn, and you may not realize you’re getting burned until it’s too late. Don’t want to lug a full-size bottle of sunscreen around the stadium? Pick up a travel sized tube of sunscreen in your local pharmacy’s travel aisle, or look for sunscreen towelettes that can fit easily into purses or pockets.
- Watch for flying objects that enter the stands. Foul balls and broken bats have the potential to enter the seating areas and concourses of stadiums. Always be aware of what’s going on in the game so that you can avoid being hit by any bats or balls that fly your way.
- Exercise caution in going after foul balls or balls tossed into the stands. When a baseball is hit or thrown into the stands, chaos can ensue. Take care to avoid getting trampled by everyone else who wants the ball if you’re in the middle of a seated or standing crowd and a ball’s flying in your general direction. If you’re sitting or standing near a railing, be very careful if you choose to reach over the railing to attempt to catch the ball. It doesn’t take more than a second for an accident to happen while reaching for a ball; last night in Arlington, Texas, a fan tumbled over a railing, fell 20 feet, and later died while reaching for a ball that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton tossed into the stands.
- Peanuts and Cracker Jack aren’t for everyone. If you or a loved one suffers from peanut allergies, call personnel at your favorite team’s stadium and ask if the stadium features a peanut-free seating section or is hosting a peanut-free baseball game. Attending one of these games could reduce your risk of suffering a peanut-induced allergic reaction.
- Avoid freezing and overheating. Climates vary–often drastically–between seating areas at baseball games. Some seats that are under cover stay cooler (even cold) because of the shade; some seats that are not under cover get full sun and can heat up quickly. In some seats you may want to wear a hoodie, while in other seats you’d be more comfortable in a tank top. Look at the stadium’s seating chart to see where your seats are located so you can get an idea of what kind of clothing to wear. Still unsure of whether your seats are covered or not, in the sun or shaded? Dress in layers so that you can be comfortable no matter where you’re sitting. And check into what the weather predictions are for the day of the game you’re attending; to reduce the risk of hypothermia, bring a raincoat along if there’s a chance it could rain.