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What kind of effect does the weather have on wheelchair users? If you are disabled, the weather has a major influence on your daily life. Even with all the other challenges you face being disabled, the weather really can't be avoided if you lead an active lifestyle.
Sitting in a steaming hot wheelchair when you have no feeling below your waist is not fun! If you are not careful, you can cause serious damage to your skin with contact burns if your wheelchair seat gets too hot. Even though you might not be able to feel it, your skin could be pulled away!
Lightning is your Enemy
What about stormy weather? Avoid being outdoors during thunderstorms. You don't want to become a human lightning rod or find out if wheelchair tires ground like car tires if struck by lightning. Although the probability of a lightning strike is very low, other things you might want to be worried about is getting completely soaked and the real possibility of developing pneumonia!
You also have to worry about getting into and out of your vehicle while it is pouring. Wheelchair tires don't have the best grip in wet weather conditions so you also have to worry about sliding all over the place. Will an umbrella in a downpour with high winds be of any help? I doubt it very much!
It's Snowing and You can Get Stuck
Snow is so beautiful to look at, but if you have to trek through it while there is snow on the sidewalks, it can be quite the adventure. Since most people don't clear their part of the side walk until the snow has stopped, that is not much help to you if you are stuck in it. If at all possible avoid being outdoors in your wheelchair when it snows. Nothing would be worse than trying to brave the elements and getting stuck!
Nothing can be as bad as snow right? Wrong! Ice can be just as bad as or even worse than snow. You might be going merrily along in your wheelchair when you hit a patch of black ice that sets you into an uncontrolled slide or spin!
Icy Road Conditions
Where you end up, nobody knows. It can be even more dangerous if the uncontrolled slide happens if you are next to a busy road. Again, avoid being outside in your wheelchair in icy conditions.
If you plan to be outdoors in your wheelchair without a vehicle, be as prepared as you can. Keep an eye on the weather reports and dress accordingly. On hot days take an extra bottle of water.
If it might rain take an extra set of clothes to change into if you get wet. Enjoying nature in your wheelchair is great, but you should also be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
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