When most of us think of summer we think of basking in the sun without a care in the world.
And there’s a reason we do that: summer is awesome. However, summer is not without its own set of risks when it comes to staying safe and taking care of your wheelchair ramps and other access solutions. Read these three top tips for staying safe during all the summer fun.
Keep Your Ramp Clean
In many areas of the country, summertime comes with summer storms. That means rain, debris, and mud. While we’re not opposed to a good old-fashioned mud fight, it’s best to keep your wheelchair ramp clean throughout the summer to maintain a safe way to access the home. When mud and dirt build up on the ramp, it covers the extruded tread that creates the slip-resistant surface. When the surface loses its traction, your wheels are more likely to slip and slide, putting you in danger. The same goes for sticks and branches that fall from trees during a storm. It can damage your equipment and hinder you from safely accessing your home. We recommend using a hose to wash off anything that might linger on the ramp after the storm. Every once in a while you may want to clean your ramp off with dish soap and water, but rinsing the debris away will usually do the trick.
Provide Shade over Ramp
When an aluminum ramp is sitting in the blazing sun, it can get a little warm! Try thinking of creative ways to keep the ramp in the shade. Some ramps can be covered by the shade of trees. Other times a canopy is a great way to keep that area of the house cool. Just make sure that whatever is protecting your ramp from the sun is not obstructing the safety of the ramp.
We know, this one seems a little counter-intuitive for the summer months, but we’re not saying you need to wear gloves this summer to keep your hands warm. We’re saying you might want to consider wearing gloves to protect your hands from the heat of your wheelchair tires. If you have a manual wheelchair and often propel yourself by pushing the wheels, the tires may burn your hands after all that friction on the hot cement. If you wear protective gloves when you’re moving around outside, you can avoid the issue altogether!
Do you have any safety tips for wheelchair users this summer?
We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!
Otherwise, we hope this helps you beat the summer heat and enjoy your time with friends and loved ones.