Paralysis often complicates how the body manages handling heat and humidity. This includes issues regulating body temperature, complicated by the fact that many people don’t sweat as much as before, or might not even sweat at all! Alex Jackson, a quadriplegic since he was 9 months old, has experience on how to be safe.
“An able-bodied person can cool off through sweating, but, for those who are injured, the brain doesn’t communicate with the spinal cord when the body becomes overheated.”
Tell-tale signs of heat exhaustion:
Find ways to cool off when you can't sweat
If the weather is hot and you feel any of these symptoms, it’s best to cool off as quickly as possible. Using air conditioning or fans are helpful, in addition to cool towels.
“I usually try to beat the heat by packing a cooler with water and cold towels when spending the day outdoors,” Alex shares. “Placing cold towels on my arms and on the back of my neck help keep my body cool.”
Being aware of this potential issue is the first step to making sure you can safely enjoy the great outdoors, even if the temperature is higher. Make sure whoever you’re with is aware of the potential issues, and have a plan in case you begin to feel the effects of the heat. Water, shade, and hats are your friend!
Share this with someone who needs to stay cool!