body_coolingSummer is certain to come around again, and with it comes the fun, heat, vacations, heat, gardening, and more heat.

While the sun is fun, it usually brings with it a collateral downside in the form of heat. For many persons with disabilities over heating can be a health risk or even life threatening. Many a person with quadriplegia or Multiple Sclerosis have had a fun time turned into a bum time due to heat.

There are a number of personal cooling devices and cooling apparel presently on the market to help put the chill into summer. Most were not developed for use by people with disabilities but that’s Ok. Athletes and construction workers are people to.

Here are some of the more common methods used. Hey, regardless of how you chill, be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of ground fluid. No, not beer or margaritas, just plain old water.
Shading Devices: These are any devices that keep you out of direct sunlight. Umbrellas, canopies, and even hats with big broad brims. For the wheelchair user, a clamp and swivel can turn an umbrella into a mobile shading device.  Source: Sears590876201p-150x110Misting Devices: Misting devices are another low tech body cooling solution. These can be anything from a plastic bottle with a mist sprayer nozzle, automated powered misting systems that mist at the press of a button, or misting fans that move air and a light mist across an area. Source: MistyMatemisty_3_usage_photo-150x110Ambient Air Vests: These vests have a lining made of air-permeable and compression-proof spacer fabric. Ambient air, as a “coolant”, is circulated by small battery-operated fans (“ventilation units”), which are placed in outer pockets, through this spacer fabric. The air is distributed evenly and circulates around the entire upper body of the wearer. In this way, warm air containing moisture from perspiration is carried away from the skin and replaced by fresh ambient air. Source: Entekscreenshot_12131Ice Pack Apparel: Ice pack apparel is one of the most common and cost effective types of body cooling methods. It’s fairly simple- Frozen or refrigerated solid material pouches are placed in pockets of garments and absorb body heat. This method lends itself nicely to many types of apparel such as vests, torso wraps, hats, scarfs, joint wraps, neckwear, and yes, even bras. Many users of these products keep extra packs on hand so some can chill while others are chilling them. Source: Polar ProductsIce Pack ApparelWater Based Cooling Systems: These are usually produced in the form of a vest with good old fashioned water used as the cooling element. They are self-contained portable cooling systems that utilize a lightweight vest through which ice-chilled water is circulated for efficient cooling.
Source: KewlFlow at Amazon
Body Cooler Body Warmer VestOther Types of Cooling Apparel: Other types of cooling apparel