Wheelchair User’s Guide to Handling Cool Weather

Even Arizona can become cold and snowy at times which can be a major party pooper for warm weather lovers. You wouldn’t want to be out in that type of weather if you don’t really have to; however we all need to go outside at some point, even if you are a wheelchair user.

You still have to dress appropriately for the cold weather; however you will need to be more careful than usual. The tips below will help wheelchair users through cold weather conditions.

What to Wear

Before heading out into the cold apply sunscreen, yes even in winter and dress in layers. If you are heading out early in the morning when it tends to be the coldest, you might become too hot by afternoon time and you will have to begin taking layers off.  Make sure the layers are easy to remove and put on when needed again.

Moisture-wicking materials are a good choice for inner layers. Don’t go for cotton for inner layers since it tends to hold moisture and can cause hypothermia. Your outer layer is very important, so choose a coat appropriate for the weather.

Carrying Extra Gloves

Always carry an extra pair of gloves so you have a dry pair if needed. If you need to use your fingers, use mittens. Keep your head covered at all times with a warm cap and leggings can keep your legs warm.

Boot warmers are also very useful in cold weather. Keep a close eye on your fingers, if they are turning white, get to somewhere warm as frost bite might not be far off. If you can’t get to a warm spot, you can tuck your fingers under your armpits to heat them up.

Driving your wheelchair or car 

If you live in an area that gets lots of snow, consider getting snow tires for your car and wheelchair. Always keep a safety kit inside your car, which should include water, food, flashlight, candles, flares, blanket and petroleum jelly for parts of the face that are uncovered. Don’t forget that batteries tend to lose power in cold temperatures. Try to keep any batteries warm especially your cell phone.

If you are looking for special equipment to get around in winter conditions, be sure to visit your local wheelchair retailer. They can help you choose the winter equipment that is most suitable for your needs.

 

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