Bad weather always has a way of catching commuters by surprise – nobody knows this better than school age children who have to cross muddy paths to get on or off the bus, or while enjoying time outside with friends after school. Wheelchairs do not provide the best bad weather navigation but there are a few ways to make those stormy treks a little easier.
Wheelchair Accessories Designed with Rain in Mind
How can you protect your child from the cold and mess? How can you make bad weather navigation more comfortable? You can’t always be there to analyze the situation as it comes. You can’t always trust the forecasts. We’ll help you put together a collection of weather-ready gear and apparel so that your child will always have the right tools to stay comfortable in any situation.
1. Waterproof Pack
Your action kit has to stay safe and dry until needed. Invest in a rugged, watertight under-seat storage solution that your child can equip any time that cloudy weather threatens rain or bad weather. You might even be able to condense the contents so they’ll fit into your child’s school backpack. What should go inside the action kit? The following items would make a good start.
2. Weather Apparel
Invest in the right body protection. Sleeve guards and waterproof chaps can help protect clothing from mud and water that often splatters up from the wheels when navigating wet terrain. These guards are rarely stylish but they’re always more comfortable than wet clothing. Look for rain ponchos tailored to fit while sitting – they’re reusable and fold up inconspicuously.
3. Visibility Gear
Bad weather often brings low visibility. Wheelchairs sit lower than most footpath traffic, so joggers and bicyclists may not see your child until a collision has already occurred. This is the worst-case scenario for any kid who has to battle a crowded bus stop in inclement weather. Consider including a flashlight or safety flag just in case.
4. Cleanup Supplies
A dry towel will come in handy regardless of weather. Your child can use the towel to wipe off the push rims, or to clean off muddy tires before entering a building. The towel will also come in handy for obvious tasks like drying hair after enduring a rain shower, or for wiping rain off a seat before making a last-minute transfer. Always invest in extras whenever you buy add-ons for your wheelchair (like cushions or covers) in case the cleanup efforts can’t salvage them.
5. Convenient Extras
Be on the lookout for canopies and clip-on umbrellas. It’s impossible to shield rain from the face or eyes when both arms are required to propel the wheelchair, or when the range of moment is not wide enough to shield the face while dealing with other distractions. You might have to contact your wheelchair manufacturer to find accessories that fit.
Beat the Rain – Be Ready to Take Action
With a well-stocked bad weather action pack, your child will be prepared to face those dreary, rainy days without hesitation. Being comfortable, dry, and warm is crucial – kids have to be comfortable to thrive in their studies. Packing a bad weather kit is much less time consuming than hovering over weather reports each school night. Everybody wins!
Natalie Sage is a freelance article writer that blog contributor! Natalie focuses on medical, health and self-development related topics to help keep everyone focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.