The winter is a time for everyone to take extra precautionary safety measures, and some individuals with developmental disabilities may be more susceptible to being affected by cold weather.  Here are some tips for the cold months ahead:

  • If possible, stay indoors or limit your amount of time outside as much as possible. You are the best judge in determining if it is safe or not to venture outdoors.
  • Individuals who are paralyzed, use a wheelchair or have a sensory disability should take extra measure to protect their hands, feet and other areas of the body that are particularly subject to frostbite. Be sure to dress in warm layers, including: hats, coats, scarves, thick or several pairs of socks, boots, and a blanket to cover your lap, if needed.
  • Be sure to always carry a fully charged cell phone with you in case of an emergency.
  • Keep phone numbers handy for family and friends to call for help if needed.
  • Prepare a back-up plan for loss of electricity if you use any medical devices that require power.
  • Wear thermal gloves to keep your hands warm.
  • Allow your vehicle to warm up before you get in it to ensure it will function properly in cold temperatures.
  • Tires for dirt bikes (sold through bicycle shops) can be used as an alternative on icy surfaces for wheelchairs.
  • Ramps should be cleared of ice by using sand or cat litter, as rock salt is poisonous to service animals. Rock salt can also be slippery for certain types of mobility aides.
  • Freezing rain will stick to canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, making the metal parts slippery and cold to touch. Driving gloves with special grip can be helpful.
  • When returning wheelchairs to vehicles, it is important to first remove the tires and shake the debris and ice off of them. The tire rims, and other metal parts that may have any salt or other de-icing chemicals on them need to be wiped off to avoid rust on the metal parts. vpnarena.se/nord-vpn/