Olympics' baby-seat policy prompts wails of protest
Your flights are booked, itinerary organized, and every few weeks you sneak a peek at those nearly impossible-to-get tickets to the Olympics. Then you realize that your new baby, who wasn’t even conceived when you made your plans, needs its own ticket – a ticket that could be just as difficult to get as yours was, and that could cost another small fortune. Some parents were gobsmacked this week to learn that babes-in-arms would be required to have their own tickets for Olympic events.
After a public outcry from moms, dads and parents-to-be, Games organizers said in a statement on Tuesday that they may change their policy, and “will look at what we can do [for parents in this situation] when the remaining tickets go on sale in April.”
It was welcome news to many moms who say that they need to bring their babies to breast-feed, or because they have no other childcare options. Babies in a front-carrier or sling don't exactly take up more room or require their own seat (they can barely hold their heads up, let alone sit down,) although organizers have said the extra ticket is to ensure that Olympic venues don't exceed capacity.
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The Equality and Human rights Commission even told one complainant that she may have a case for “indirect sex discrimination,” the Guardian reported.
But should parents really be bringing a baby to the Olympics in the first place? Long security lines, crowded stadiums and the need to take public transport to many Olympic events are just some of the obstacles -- and germ fests -- that parents and their babies will face this summer.
Plus, London in July and August isn’t exactly like Beijing and Athens, homes of the last two Olympics. Summer in England can be downright chilly, never mind the rain. It's enough to persuade any parent to find a reliable sitter.
Would you take your baby to the Olympics? Tell us in the comments section below.