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Winter Safety for You and Your Wheelchair

The winter weather can be hard on both you and your wheelchair. Take some steps to protect both of you.

The winter weather can be hard on both you and your wheelchair. Take some steps to protect both of you.

Winter weather can definitely cramp your usually mobile style. Ice and snow become obstacles on roads and sidewalks and the cold air is hard on your skin. It’s important for individuals to be aware of the potential dangers colder weather may bring. That is why the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology has put together some safety tips to keep both you and your wheelchair safe this winter.

For your wheelchair:

Unfortunately, wheelchairs don’t typically come with a four-wheel drive option. But there are a few add-ons you can use to make your wheelchair more all-terrain.

Tires: There are many different options available to you. All-weather tires can make a huge difference in whether you can get where you need to go.

Wheelchair clothing: Waterproof ponchos that are large enough to cover both you and your chair are available. Some even have hoods to keep your head warm and dry! This will protect you from wet and cold and your chair from becoming damaged or worn due to weather.

For you:

There are so many ways you can take care of yourself during the wet winter months. Taking care of you first and foremost will make these days much more pleasant. Here are a few ideas for things to carry with you to keep you mobile and comfortable.

Hand and foot warmers: These are especially important if you have reduced feeling in your extremities. Warming boots and mitten or shoe inserts keep you cozy and warm.

Rock salt: Keep a small bag with you at all times in case you need to help de-ice slippery sidewalks as you go.

Skin protection: The sensitive skin on your lips and cheeks are especially vulnerable to the cold air. Keep a travel size tube of skin protectant on hand to show your skin some love.

Keep an emergency kit: Keep essentials like a blanket, bottled water, cell phone charge, and a fully-charged battery for your mobility device in a small emergency kit in case an emergency pops up.

The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology works to give individuals with disabilities the products and support they need to live an active and mobile life. We don’t want you to lose any of your independence this winter due to harsh weather conditions. If you are going to brave the cold weather, make sure you are prepared and stay safe.