During summer months when the heat is at it’s hottest dehydration can be of great concern for the child with special needs.
Drinking water is critically important as sweat loss increases.
Some children with special needs do not have the ability to sweat, but it equally important for them to stay hydrated.
Taking small sips of water frequently, will help significantly help beat the heat.
For children unable to drink liquids by mouth, Popsicles are also a great alternative to assist in hydration.
Mesh Food Feeders with frozen treats are also a really safe oral way to stay hydrated for many children with special needs.
Many wheelchair models are now making sun canopies as additional accessories that you can order for your wheelchair.
Many companies have also realized the need for cooling as much of the child’s body as possible that they have designed extended or “deluxe canopies.”
Some popular models with canopy shade are the Convaid, Ottobock, Quickie Zippie and the Leckey/Kimba Sunshade.
However, sunshades are not always possible on all models of wheelchairs or power mobility.
Some alternative options are umbrellas that attach to strollers, prams and wheelchairs.
A great model is the Buggy Brolly, which is available for both UK and USA customers and is often a more economical option for parents.
Some children with special needs have tremendous difficulty regulating temperature.
Extreme hot and cold can be especially dangerous and detrimental.
This can limit the outdoor activities that a child can engage in.
Some products that are really great to consider are Cool Comfort Wrist Wraps.
It is a safer alternative for helping the body to regulate temperature.
Cooling vests also aid in maintaining a child’s body temperature at 58 degrees.
There are a few different varieties from evaporative cooling, phase changing cooling, cold pack cooling vests and hybrid vests.
Making the best decision depends on your child’s individual health and physical needs.
For those wishing to beat the heat of sitting in a pediatric stroller, wheelchair or pram may want to consider a cooling stroller liner option (which does not fit all models of wheelchairs) but can offer additional back cooling comfort.
Portable clip-on fans are also an option for individual cooling that can be clipped to the side of a wheelchair or pediatric stroller or pram.
There are two types: direct air cooling fan, and those combined with a water mist.
Most are battery operated, so planning ahead is important.
Some models will run on a USB port, but require recharging batteries.
Some air models are preferable since they are not spraying water directly onto a child that may or may not have sensory challenges.
Some fans can also come switch adapted for children capable of using switches to control individual fans.
Sometimes in a pinch you have to use what you have easily at your disposal.
A cold or frozen slice of cucumber applied directly to a child’s forehead can dramatically assist in reducing overheating.
A hint of mint leaves in a water bottle or mint in a lotion, or ice cream can trick the body into feeling cool and help keep body temperatures under control.
If your child is able to blow, you can take a glass of water filled with ice and have them place their face over it and blow.
By blowing it gives cooling benefits directly to their face to assist with instant and immediate cooling.
Is your child a wheelchair user?