The word 'summer' conjures up classic images of beaches, tank tops, and lemonade stands. One thing we often forget about, or at least deliberately ignore, is the heavy, oppressive, suffocating heat and humidity that go right along with those happy thoughts.

That heat can often be enough to keep people inside, and those of us reliant on some sort of mobility product are more susceptible to heat related illness than most. But by following these few simple guidelines, anyone can beat the heat and look forward some safe summertime fun.

  1. Always, always, always carry a water bottle. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe and healthy in the summer, and having your own supply of water makes it easy. Clip a sturdy cup holder onto your walker to provide yourself with a handy way to carry your water bottle without taking up any hands.
  2. Bring your own shade. This one is easier than it sounds! Parasols have been used for centuries to hide delicate skin from the shade, and modern umbrellas do the job just as well. Tuck an umbrella into your walker pouch or wheelchair backpack to have it with you whenever you need it. You might also consider a handy pole holder for your walker, which can hold your umbrella as easily as it holds a fishing pole.
  3. Rest when you need it. It's important not to overexert yourself in the heat. If you have a wheelchair, this is not a problem, and even most rollators include a seat for resting whenever it might be needed. If you don't have a walker with seat, you might want to purchase a removable walker seat to attach to the cross bars so that they, too, can always be sure to rest when they need it.
  4. Have help close to hand. Don't go out alone, or if you must go out alone, be sure to tell others where you are going and how long you expect to be out. Carry a cell phone, so that you can always call for help if you need it. If you have someone going out with you, consider a 2-in-1 Rollator/Transport Chair that you can use as a rollator as long as you can, but that allows you to be pushed when you become overexerted.
  5. Watch what you eat. Believe it or not, changing your eating habits can help a lot in how your body deals with heat. Cold foods in smaller portions are better for you in hot weather, and having several smaller meals can be better than a few large ones. Pack accordingly, and carry your food with you in your walker bags.

That's it! Plan well and be safe, and enjoy your summer vacation!