Staying Cool When It’s Hot, Hot, Hot! — Scope | Disability forum
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Staying Cool When It’s Hot, Hot, Hot!

MikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Pioneering

It’s a scorcher out there again today with temperatures in the high 20’s C -  especially in the South and West of the UK - as this early summer heatwave continues.

Staying as cool and comfortable as possible is essential for everyone, and can sometimes be a challenge when you’re disabled.

Lady being splashed in the face with cold water

On its page Heatwave: How to cope in hot weather, the NHS provides a lot of useful information including these tips: 

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  •  Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool. 
  •  Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
  • If you're worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the local environmental health office at your local authority.
  • Environmental health workers can visit a home to inspect it for hazards to health, including excess heat. Visit GOV.UK to find your local authority.

What are your tips for keeping cool in the hot summer sun?

Does your disability create any special heat-related challenges? (Slippery crutch handles and sweat getting in my eyes when I walk, come to mind for me. Wearing a baseball cap, sun hat, or even sweatband really helps me, as does carrying a handkerchief to dry my hands.)

And what are your tips and tricks for dealing with them?

Please leave us your thoughts and advice for beating the heat, below.


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    I have an ostomy bag and no colon, this means I get dehydrated very very easily and so hot weather means massively increasing my fluid intake.  It's probably a good call for anyone though to keep drinking. 

    Senior online community officer
  • CaderMac
    CaderMac Member Posts: 105 Pioneering
    Although it doesn't cool me down very much, I have had my factor 50 sun cream close by all week! In scorching weather like this the last thing you need is sunburn warming you up. 
  • MikeBroderick
    MikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    @CaderMac Very true. The old sunburn is guaranteed to make you feel worse!
  • Blue Frog
    Blue Frog Member Posts: 358 Pioneering
    Quite a few people are recommending these;

    Not tried yet, but they do look good. My daughter has been really struggling and having a lot of seizures. We have given up on the high sided bed and sleep system and she's snoozing in her air bed on the floor for a bit!
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    I found with the heat I was not getting less sleep than normal which meant my back wasn't getting the time to relax. My back deteriorated very quickly, within a few days. By Tuesday I could barely function.

    Went to see a doctor and asked if they could do anything for the pain. After a chat she referred me to A&E for assessment for back surgery. As the only recent change was the level of pain it was decided I was not suitable for surgery - to quote, 'any damage already done will be permanent.'

    I did get a sick note for a week, but still nothing for the pain. I'm hoping now the weather has changed I will be able to get on top of the pain.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • MikeBroderick
    MikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Pioneering
    Hi @Geoark:

    I am very sorry to hear that.

    Is there anything that you can do to cool your room down?

    We installed a ceiling fan in our bedroom, and it really helped last week.

    It does seem cooler where I am today, so hopefully you'll get some relief from the heat and more sleep this week.
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    Hi @MikeBroderick

    Things have cooled down a lot now, and yesterday bought ibuprofen and paracetomol to help with the pain and lower any inflamation. 

    We have a large fan which just circulate warm air. I have ordered a small gadget which can run on batteries or usb which absorbs moisture in the air and uses this to blow out cold air. No where big enough to cool a room down, or the even the whole of my body, but should be enough to cool my head down and draw out some of the heat to hopefully make it comfortable enough to sleep and help keep cooler during the day.

    The good news is the pain is starting to go down, so can start doing the exercises again to loosen muscles and help reduce the pain further.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • MikeBroderick
    MikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Pioneering
    Hi @geoark:

    I'm glad to hear it.

    Hopefully you'll be feeling good again.

    It's definitely cooler here - I've got a sweater on today!

    Have a good day!

  • Blue Frog
    Blue Frog Member Posts: 358 Pioneering
    We bought one of the JML cool mats, they are very good.  Have used it on the sofa and as a wheelchair liner so far.  It seems quite comfy to sit on and works really well  B)
  • haylou
    haylou Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I survived the recent heat wave by putting Vicks vaporub on my chest and underarms whilst drinking little and often my favourite soft drinks, with Windows and doors open 


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