ITP and Sports What can I play?

Playing sports are an important part of having fun and living your life. Having ITP should interfere as little as possible. Just keep in mind smart play such as wearing helmets, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee pads or any other protective equipment that is recommended for the sports you wish to play and try to avoid injury. The following is a list of sports you can play or should avoid based on your platelet count. Just remember to have fun and be safe.

DISCLAIMER: There are no formal national guidelines for sports and activities with ITP. We've modeled these suggestions on those used by the National Hemophilia Foundation for other types of bleeding disorders. Sports and outdoor activities can be pretty easily divided into three groups.

  1. Sports that are safe for anyone, even with a bleeding disease. Walking, swimming, tennis are examples.
  2. Everything else: basketball, soccer, baseball are examples.
  3. Sports that are potentially dangerous for anyone, even without a bleeding disease. Hang gliding, tackle football, ski racing, wrestling are examples.

    For many patients, an important choice is whether it would be better to avoid some riskier contact sports, or to be treated to raise the platelet count in order to play. This question doesn't have a single best answer. It is important to consider this choice with your hematologist. The answer for one child may be quite different from the next. Always check with your hematologist if your platelet count is on the low end of any of these parameters for any serious sports playing.Normal platelet counts are >150,000/mm3. As long as your platelet count is over 75,000, it is usually safe to play most sports, just be sure to protect yourself as any athlete would.

If your platelet count falls below 75,000, it is best if you do NOT . . . . .
play ice hockey with checking, field hockey (because of the sticks), or street hockey
dive competitively
go hang-gliding
play tackle football
play rugby
play lacrosse
ride a motorcyle
play raquetball (because of potential eye injury from raquets in close quarters)
go rock climbing
If your platelet count is less than 75,000 but greater than 30,000 to 50,000 it is usually okay to . . . . .
play baseball (just not catcher; wear a helmet on the bases)
play basketball
go bowling
dive in the pool (just no high dives or competitions)
practice gymnastics
go horseback riding
go ice skating (wear a helmet if you're unsteady!)
practice karate, Kung Fu or Tae Kwon Do (no kicks to the head!)
go mountain biking (wearing a helmet of course)
go river rafting
go roller blading or roller skating (with protective equipment)
go running
go rowing
go skateboarding (with protective equipment)
go cross country or downhill skiing or snowboarding (be sure to wear a helmet) Ski racing demands a higher platelet count.
play soccer
play tennis
compete in track and field events
play volley ball
go water skiing
practice weight lifting
Most people with ITP can . . . . .
go for a bike ride (with a helmet of course)
go fishing
play frisbee
play golf
go for a hike
practice Tai Chi or Karate
go for a walk
go swimming
go jogging

. . . . . anytime.

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