Preventing Football Injuries
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you know what that means—it's almost time for the annual backyard football game! Before you start airing up the football and picking teams, here is a list of common football injuries to be cautious of, how to prevent them, and what to do if one of your players is sidelined.
Thanksgiving Is the Peak Day for Football Injuries
This may surprise some of you, but each year, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for hospitals when it comes to football injuries. Research from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System has shown that each year on Thanksgiving, there is a significant spike in emergency room visits for football-related injuries.
Nobody can predict precisely the injury that can occur, but some injuries occur quite frequently during football, regardless if it's on an NFL field or in the backyard. A few of the most common injuries from football include:
- Pulled muscles
- Sprained ankles
- Broken fingers
Stretch Make sure that everyone, regardless of position, takes the time to properly stretch out and warm up the muscles before kickoff. Stretching will reduce the risk for cramping along with other injuries that can occur.
Stay Hydrated You should always drink water throughout the day, but during the Thanksgiving football game its essential—especially if you’ve been drinking. Staying hydrated will allow the muscles to loosen up and prevent cramps from occurring.
Don’t Tackle It's a staple of American football but leave the physical contact to the professionals on TV. When playing with friends and family, nobody wants a visit to the emergency room especially since you most likely won't have the advanced safety equipment professionals use.
We recommend playing flag football or following the two-hand touch rule to prevent anyone from getting knocked around or roughed up during the game.
Remember: It’s Just a Game This is important to remember as many people will get caught up in the heat of competition and forget that it's all about having fun. There's no need to slam a family member on the opposing team into the oak tree to keep him from scoring a touchdown. It's all about having fun, and win-or-lose, it's the excitement of the game that makes it enjoyable.
Stay in Shape For many people, the annual Turkey Bowl in the backyard is the most exercise they get all year. There’s no need to limit all of your physical activity to just one afternoon out of the year. Stay in shape and make sure that you are staying active throughout the year. That way, you’ll be ready to go for game day.
If Someone Gets Hurt If someone does get hurt and the injury is more than scratches and bruises, seek medical attention immediately. Even if the damage doesn't seem severe, it's best to stay safe and make sure it doesn’t become something worse.