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How to stay cool in a wheelchair during summer

You know how much freedom your wheelchair gives you, and it can make travelling to your favourite summer destinations easier. But you also know how difficult it can be to stay cool and comfortable as the temperature rises. Getting too hot in a wheelchair can leave you feeling uncomfortable, so keep reading to find out how you can stay cool in a wheelchair this summer.

Don’t forget the essentials

Not every way of staying cool in the summer is unique to wheelchair users. While the material of your chair can make it more difficult to keep your body temperature down, don’t forget the basics. This includes making sure that you remain hydrated by drinking more water on those hot summer days and ensuring you stay out of direct sunlight. As always, remembering to wear sunscreen is a must to avoid sunburn.

Plan your day

Being outside during the hottest part of the day is uncomfortable for many people but can be even more challenging for wheelchair users. Whether you are heading off on holiday or just spending time at home, scheduling your activities around this can be a great idea.

The hottest and brightest hours of the day are between ten in the morning and three in the afternoon, so avoiding these hours is advisable if you struggle to regulate your body temperature. You can plan your activities for early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid overheating.

Look for air conditioning

This is a small tip for those who love adventuring around! If you cannot plan your daily activities for a specific time frame, then look into where you might be able to find air conditioning. This can work well when you are away on holiday, as many hotels have air conditioning as standard, so you can duck inside and cool down on those very hot days. Plan ahead when you are going out so that you can be aware of convenient places to stop off and cool down.

Choose handy items for cooling

Inserts are an easy way to keep yourself cool when you’re in the sun. You can choose frozen or gel versions, and these small inserts can fit into any piece of clothing to provide a small boost of cooling power. You can even use them with wrist cuffs to cool down your pulse points, which can create better cooling for your whole body.

You can also use a cooling pad for your wheelchair seat. When sitting on this cooling pad, your body temperature will feel more regular in hot weather but be careful to check that you are still comfortable and not getting too chilly. Alternatively, some wheelchair users prefer the convenience of a cooling vest to make sure that they maintain a good body temperature during long hot days when they might be outside or somewhere without air conditioning.

Wear lighter clothing

No matter what your usual style, when you’re trying to stay cool in your wheelchair, you need to opt for lighter clothing made of natural fibres. If you find that wearing less clothing doesn’t work because your body sticks to the material of your chair or is irritated by it, then wearing looser and floatier linen or cotton clothes will still keep you cool without causing irritation or leaving you open to sunburn.

Try hot drinks

While you might be tempted to reach for the ice water when it’s hot outside, sometimes a cup of tea can actually be beneficial. If you aren’t someone who sweats a lot, you are missing out on your body’s essential cooling system. Drinking a hot beverage like a cup of tea can make you sweat more easily, allowing your body to cool down faster.

Keep moving around

When you are very hot, it makes sense to sit very still so as to avoid getting any warmer. But by staying very still, you are simply keeping all the same parts of your chair warm, which then makes you feel hotter and less comfortable. Try shifting your body as much as possible when in your wheelchair – even just moving your arm slightly and changing your sitting position can alleviate the heat of sitting still in your wheelchair.

Staying cool in your wheelchair doesn’t have to be challenging. With these simple tips and tricks, you can enjoy those summer days and head out on some adventures in the sun, all while staying comfy.

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call 0333 331 3770

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