Stay Safe this Summer

June 4, 2012

It’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather.  However, as we enter June, summer heat and sunshine can be dangerous, so it’s important to take extra precautions when spending time outdoors in a wheelchair.

Here’s our tip-list on staying safe and healthy this summer.

  • Wear sun block. Sunburns can be very painful, and the decreased sensation associated with SCI can make sunburns even more dangerous.  Try to avoid the strong mid-day sun; the American Cancer Society recommends wearing sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.
  • Remember, wheelchairs get hot.  When plastic and leather wheelchair seats are exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time, they get very hot.  Prevent getting burned by staying in the shade or investing in a wheelchair umbrella.
  • Stay hydrated.  Never leave home without an extra water bottle; don’t assume you’ll be able to grab a sip on the run—many water fountains are too high for wheelchair users.
  • Protect your hands.  Gloves not only protect hands from the winter cold, but also from hot metal surfaces, such as wheelchair rims.  Keep your hands covered and dry to prevent blisters and burns.
  • Try a beach wheelchair.  Consider renting a beach wheelchair.  They have balloon tires and allow users to take a dip while seated.  There’re a variety of makes and models, which some vacation spots have available.
  • Summer storms. Thunderclouds can roll in out of nowhere, so it’s important to always keep an eye on the forecast.  Consider making an emergency evacuation plan.  You don’t want to get caught on the beach in a storm.

What are you tips? Please share below.



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