Keeping cool in the summer


As the warm weather hits the UK (and promptly disappears again), we’ve had a few questions about keeping cool in the summer.  If you struggle with temperature regulation or your body succumbs to exhaustion when the mercury reaches more than “luke warm”, we have some ideas for keeping cool when the going gets hot.  Here’s our suggestions but keep reading to give us yours!

1. Keep hydrated

Yes, the simple suggestions are often the best.  Drinking water (rather than coffee, alcohol or sugary drinks) is the best way of keeping yourself from over heating.  How much you drink should be at your own levels, especially if you have a feeding tube or catheter to consider.

Keeping cool with water

Avoid the alcohol during the hot afternoons though – when you drink, it dilates the blood vessels near your skin, which means more blood flows to these vessels, making them hotter.  Although this cools your core, you can feel hotter as a result.

2. Seek shade

Shaded places have two benefits – the first being that they are normally cooler than where it isn’t shared.  Don’t cover wheelchair in a blanket hoping to make mobile gazebo though – you’ll only keep the heat in!  Use somewhere that is out of direct sun and preferably where the air is moving.

Keeping the curtains and windows closed during the day also help to keep a room cool at night – after all, if there isn’t a breeze, the air isn’t going to move around.

3. Cooling cushions and backrests

There are a number of cooling backrests and cushions, including from Jay and of course, the wheelAIR.  The wheelAIR is a great tool for when you’re unable to regulate your own temperature, so combine this with hot weather it pays off in dividends.

Full length wheelAIR

Full length wheelAIR

We’ve reviewed the wheelAIR – you can read the wheelAIR review here.  It’s a great option for keeping cool when out and about.

4. Wear loose clothing… but the right loose clothing

The right loose clothing, we can hear you thinking.  Yes – wearing a floaty dress that gets caught under your wheels is not going to achieve anything more than an ripping sound at best and at worst, a visit to accident and emergency.  However, loose blouses, knee-length skirts or loose-er shorts for the ladies will help air to flow around the skin.

Keeping cool with long leg shorts

Some ladies long-leg shorts

If you prefer menswear, knee-length cotton shorts and a cotton, light coloured t-shirt or shirt will also be loose on the skin.  The reasons that we suggest knee length purely to keep your skin off the cushion material, which is usually black and attracts heat.

How are you keeping cool?

Tell us how you keep cool in the comments below! Share your tips and ideas with everyone or ask a question.  You can sign in with your Facebook, Twitter or Google and if you’d rather register click here first.


A wheelchair user for 20 years, Dominic looks at how a wheelchair works for its user base, not the brochure. Dominic is our lead editor.

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