Safety tips for holiday football games

Safety tips for holiday football games
Don't let injuries sideline you during Thanksgiving pick-up games.

(HealthDay)—Pick-up football games are a Thanksgiving tradition for many people, but they can lead to injuries if you're not careful, an expert says.

"Playing in a Turkey Bowl is a great way to get some exercise and burn off those pumpkin pie calories," Dr. Pietro Tonino, program director of at the Loyola University School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "But make sure you play smart to stay safe."

Tonino, who also is a professor in Loyola's orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation department, offered the following tips to reduce the risk of injury:

  • Don't tackle. Play touch or flag football instead.
  • Warm up by jogging, running in place or doing jumping jacks for a few minutes before the game. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Don't wear cleats. There's a risk that they'll cause your foot to be stuck in one position while the rest of your body is moving in a different direction, resulting in an injury. Wear gym shoes instead.
  • Wear a mouth guard. They cost just a few dollars and can save hundreds of dollars in dental bills.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes, such as sweats. This will make it easier for your body to move and reduce your injury risk.
  • Remember your age. If you're 40, don't try to play like you're still 20.
  • Don't drink alcohol before or during your Turkey Bowl.
  • If you get hurt, stay on the sidelines until symptoms go away completely. Before returning to the game, make sure you have no pain or swelling and have normal strength and a full range of motion.
  • When the game is over, remember to stretch. This will help reduce the next day.

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more holiday health and safety tips.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How to avoid turkey bowl injuries this Thanksgiving

Nov 21, 2013

Every year around this time, Loyola University Medical Center Sports Medicine surgeon Dr. Pietro Tonino sees a spike in sprains, contusions, broken bones and other injuries suffered in Thanksgiving pickup football games.

Sports safety: Get geared up and always warm up

Apr 20, 2012

April is Youth Sports Safety Month. Each year, more than 3.5 million children under the age of 15 are treated for sports injuries nationwide. Roughly half of these injuries are sustained in solo activities, ...

Recommended for you

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

3 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

3 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

Possible risk of folic acid overexposure

5 hours ago

A new study has shown that synthetic folic acid, the form taken in folic acid supplements we can buy over the counter, is not processed by the body in the same way as natural folates, the form found in green vegetables.

Is coffee aggravating your hot flashes?

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Drinking caffeine may worsen the hot flashes and night sweats that affect roughly two-thirds of women as they go through menopause, new survey data suggests.

User comments