The summer is heating up which means the risk of heat stroke is on the rise. Those who are in wheelchairs are at an even higher risk for heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke. If not prevented, a heat stroke can leave a person with vital organ damage and can even be fatal. EZ-ACCESS wants to help you understand how to prevent heat strokes to protect yourself while using your wheelchair during the hot summer months.
Avoid the hottest part of the day – If you are planning to head outside, it is important to do so at the appropriate time of day. Schedule your outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day such as the early morning or late evening. Stay in air-conditioned buildings during the hot hours of the day.
Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated is important for anybody who plans to be outside in the summer. It is import to drink plenty of water before, during and after you spend time in the sun. If your body is properly hydrated, it will be able to cool itself off in case you start to overheat. Avoid soda and alcohol as these drinks can quickly lead to dehydration.
Keep a caregiver close – It is important to make sure someone is with you or knows you are going outside. Having someone close can help remind you to drink water and get you to those cooler outdoor spots, like shade under a tree. Also, in case an emergency did happen, a caregiver would be able to properly and promptly be able to help if you are unable or unconscious.
Remember, if you ever feel dizzy, headachy, muscle cramps, weakness or nauseas get out of the heat and cool down as soon as possible. If you have shortness of breath, hot/dry skin, chest pains or feel confused, call 9-1-1 immediately.