Turkey! Football! Have an Injury-free Thanksgiving

Noble McIntyre on November 25, 2014


Football Safety Photo Source

If your family is one whose traditions include a spirited game of Thanksgiving touch football, you’re not alone. For families all across America, a game of football is… as American as Thanksgiving, itself. But, if you’re not careful, that fun holiday game could have some serious repercussions.

It’s been long-established that professional football players, recreational players and student athletes alike can sustain football injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Sports injuries in kids are especially troubling.

Touch football generally doesn’t have the same kind of impact-related injuries as does traditional football because the sport is intended to be non-contact. However, high speeds, changes in direction, running, sprinting and diving in a vigorous game can mean lots of accidents. Also, touch football players are not wearing protective gear like helmets and pads, so some injuries that might not be at issue in a fully regulated football game could pack some pain in a backyard game of touch.

Some of the most common touch football injuries include:

  • lower leg: sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures of the knee or ankle
  • hand: finger sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures
  • impact: from falls or collisions
  • head: concussions, abrasions

One reason why touch football can be so dangerous for some people is because they play once or twice a year but are not otherwise accustomed to the sport or that level of exertion. A family game can include everyone, but all players should be aware of each person’s level of fitness and experience with the game. Beginners might be more likely to become injured if they don’t have the same skills or technique as more serious players. They might not have the same maneuvers down-pat as do the people who play regular sports, and could be come injured if they attempt to dive for the ball, change direction too fast, or make other risky moves. Try to take that into consideration – after all, it’s a game with family and friends, and no one wants to get hurt!

What if someone is injured during touch football?

First things first: Prevention! In general, it’s a good idea to make sure that every player understands the rules of the game and that each person has an idea as to the skills and limitations of any of the other players. Also, take special precautions if the ground is wet or slippery.

If you or one of your playmates does become injured, here are some suggestions for what to do:

  • Have that person stop playing. If someone is in pain, continuing to play through the pain might make the injury worse.
  • If you suspect a soft tissue injury like a ligament sprain, muscle strain, bump or bruise, you can treat with rest, ice, compression and elevation, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Before the game, check to see where is the nearest open urgent care facility. Because it is a holiday, non-hospital emergency centers might have reduced hours. You want to know where to go or whom you can call if there’s an emergency. If there is no urgent care available, call 911 or your local emergency number in a life-threatening situation.

Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks, so have fun, but be cautious. Touch football isn’t the only hazard associated with the holiday. Check out our other Thanksgiving safety tips for both traveling and preparing that scrumptious dinner.

At McIntyre Law, P.C., we’re thankful for all of you—our friends, clients and community. From our homes to yours, have a happy Thanksgiving!


Noble McIntyre

Noble McIntyre is the senior partner and owner of McIntyre Law who focuses primarily on drug litigation and catastrophic injury cases. He is currently representing clients injured by the drugs Paxil, Levaquin and testosterone therapy drugs and by clients affected by oil field injuries. His goal has and continues to be to work diligently on behalf of his clients to achieve the highest and best result for his clients’ injuries while maintaining professionalism and abiding by all ethical standards of his profession. Read more about Noble McIntyre.


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