As we prepare to move into August, which for many is the hottest part of the year, it’s a good idea to keep in mind some tips for staying cool. Temperatures have soared well over 100 degrees for much of the U.S. already this season, which is hot for anyone! But, for those who have low circulation or paralysis resulting in limited perspiration, regulating body temperature can be even more of a challenge – and sometimes even a health concern.
The following tips will help you stay cool in the hottest part of the summer, no matter who you are.
Ice Packs & Wraps
One of the quickest ways to cool the body down is by targeting major pulse points and arteries. Grab an ice wrap (the kind that you put in the freezer between use), a cold pack or even a bag of ice and place it directly on your neck to begin circulating cooler blood throughout your body in no time. Other areas to focus on are wrists, inner thighs and the sides of your head, near the temple. A cool rag or bandana can all work if you don’t have anything frozen.
Consuming liquids is crucial to avoid overheating. Getting enough water and caffeine-free liquids that contain electrolytes will help keep your body cool, while replacing much of what your body loses while sweating. If you’re really hot, try some ice water or chilled beverages and you’ll start feeling better fast. Also, if you have a cold bottle handy, you can double its use as a cold pack on your neck!
Douse with Water
Another great way to bring down your body temperature is to simply dump some water on yourself! Pour water (cool or room temperature) over your head, around your neck and on clothing. It will give you an immediate cool down and help you stay cooler while it dries. If you’re not into getting that wet, try carrying a spray bottle with some ice water in it.
Last but not least, Take a Dip!
Ok, we saved the best for last. It’s probably no surprise that submerging our bodies in water is the very best way to lower body temperature and get instant relief from the heat. Plus, swimming has all sorts of other great health benefits and it’s fun! If you don’t have a pool or know someone who has one, look up your local public pool or ask a local rehab center or college about using theirs. Read our blog here about the positive impacts of swimming for wheelchair users!
If you’re worried about accessibility, there’s good news. Thanks to revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010, most public pools are equipped with lifts so all guests can access the water with ease. If your public or private pool of choice doesn’t have a lift and you’d like to find out about getting one installed, you can contact us here and we’d be happy to help.