We’ve all seen parents ‚Äî particularly fathers, for some reason ‚Äî toss their babies in the air, catching them as they stare on, startled, supposedly amused. And well, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this is not OK. Makes sense, even (the horror). And yet we swear they are amused.


According to a Dakota County Criminal Complaint, a father of a six-month-old child was arrested for tossing his child in the air and causing permanent damage:

The mother reported that approximately one month ago the baby developed six bruises on her head, patterned in 2 rows of 3. The mother reported that she had noticed the bruises along her daughter’s back a few days before the baby’s well-baby check on April 8th. Prior to the well-baby check she had discussed the bruises with the baby’s father, fully identified at Chad Michael Hammer, (DOB 11/7/84), and he explained that he had been tossing the baby in the air and catching her.


Hammer stated regarding the older rib injuries, that he had been throwing JLH in the air and catching her, and had then placed her in a sitting position on the couch. He then became “irritated” with the behavior of his older daughter, and stated that when JLH started to tip from her sitting position on the couch he grabbed her and may have squeezed her too hard because of his irritation. He stated JLH cried harder than normal after he squeezed her. Regarding the most recent injury and bruises to JLH’s back, Hammer stated he had been throwing her in the air, and on the last throw, he almost missed catching her, causing him to grab her and squeeze her tightly to keep her from hitting the floor. He stated she started crying afterward, and he believed that is what caused the recent injury.

Lazy Lightning has more questions for you.

When did you begin to interact with your children in a way which could seriously harm them? Did you avoid it all together for fear of causing bodily harm? Do you agree that this guy’s story just doesn’t add up or do you believe that playing with your child in the manner described really may injure them at the ages these injuries occurred? Is this just something you get over in time or is it something that even when you’re doing it you’re still freaked out that you could hurt your child at any time?