Sun Safety in Your Wheelchair

Sun Safety in Your Wheelchair

Summertime is officially here! Time for the beach, pool, and good ole sunshine! We are all looking forward to the warmth of the sun after this brutal winter. There are benefits from the sun exposure including stimulating production of Vitamin D and improving mental well-being. However, we know excessive sun exposure can lead to sunburn, even causing first degree burns or skin cancer. But what if you use a wheelchair? There are a few more things that you need to think about:

• Be careful about sitting out in the sun too long. Parts of your chair like your armrests and leg rests can get hot. You could get a serious burn from these parts of your chair.

• If you wear shorts, your knees are prone to burn. Be aware of your feet, too.  If you wear sandals or go barefoot by the pool or on the beach, your feet are at risk as well. Use sunscreen.

• Certain medications put you at greater risk for sunburn. These include certain antibiotics and diabetes medications. You can find more info here.

• Stay well hydrated. This means plenty of water. Beverages with alcohol and caffeine only dehydrate you more.  Add some fruit for a little extra flavor.

Remember, just because you don’t feel, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Even a little bit of sunburn damages your skin. Wear plenty of sunblock, a hat, and enjoy the sun in small doses.

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