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Thread: Summer Heat and Quads

  1. #11
    Thermoregulation is just as much a problem in the summer as in the winter for many people with SCI (esp. if your SCI is above about T6). Your body cannot vasodilate or sweat properly to cool your core in the summer in hot environments, and in the winter, it cannot vasoconstrict or shiver normally either. This causes a condition called poikilothermia.

    Here is a handout you may find helpful on how to manage this, esp. how to avoid the dangers of heat stroke, which are very real for people with SCI. I have seen a number of deaths in people with SCI caused by heat stroke, and it can happen very easily.


  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Rochester, NY
    i used to have super issues with the heat as a kid and pass out (we lived in cali) and now being in the land of perpetual winter (it SNOWED last week) winters are gross. i have gotten better at tolerating the extremes. can now go 6hrs but i just remember to drink LOTS of H2O/ find shade if need be and when i get home the first thing i do is wet a towel, put it on my head, take off my clothes and blast the fan on me for 10 min. i don't tolerate AC at all and i get very ill when in it for too long so i am not indoors much in the summer. so if u use AC try to keep it around 72 - 75 degrees as it can have the opposite effect of cooling down too much (which is why i avoid it as most places have it set too cold). i also have a shaved head, this really helps in the summer as with my thick dark hair it'd get hot way too quickly. dont forget ur sunscreen! also remember that H2O is reflective, so can actually increase the effects of the sun, so even if she is in a pool/river/lake/etc make sure u use suncreen and see if u can get those battery operated fans
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"

  3. #13
    Living in Arizona it commonly gets over 100° in the summertime, starting in June and lasting all the way through mid-September, with July and August being monsoon season so we get moisture in the air to. I keep a spray bottle on my chair and use it all the time, especially when getting in my van after it sat in a parking lot for a little bit. When I'm at home, I try to turn on for 10 minutes before a go anywhere and run the AC so the AC is nice and cool by the time you get in there. I've gotten too hot a couple of times where it's left me lightheaded as really nauseous causing me to have to get in bed, undressed and sprayed down really well to help cool me off. It can be scary and always make sure you have something to drink with you. Good luck getting it figured out in your state.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  4. #14
    In my town they found a local quad baked/dead in the sun.
    I'm not sure if he did it on purpose or if it was accidental though.
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  5. #15
    You have to be most careful in the sun because of radiant heating. Heat can become a life threat. I had my temp run up to nearly 106 3 times by the heat and had to be packed in ice. Once was when I was being filmed for a medical education film and was under the really hot lights. So much for the docs standing by. lol

    Be careful of vehicles in the summer sun, especially if they and the upholstery are dark colors. I keep a thermometer in my van window. Here in South Carolina, the inside temp gets up to 140 F on sunny days with the van in the middle of an asphalt parking lot. Also, it is easy to get hands burned from trying to slow down or stop the wheelchair with coated rims. The heat from the sun + friction runs the temp up.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  6. #16
    I love the sun. I have found keeping my head wet and drinking water makes biggest difference. C4/5 inc i dont sweat unless i have ad rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  7. #17
    Gatorade G2 really helps me in the summer to stay Hydrated from getting overheated

  8. #18
    Last summer I used Cool Wraps, those bandana looking thingies you soak and wrap on your neck, head, whatever you can on your body. Those combined with mega h2o and loose, natural fiber clothing helped. Cool wraps come in a variety of colors, but even so they'll not win any fashion awards.

    I also wet my head when necessary.

  9. #19
    Thanks for the link SCI nurse. This will be our first real summer as Dave was in the hospital most of the first one after SCI.

  10. #20
    I'm C5 incomplete for nearly 40 yrs. and live in Florida year round.
    Summer heat is a big issue, and some meds, like Ditropan, can inhibit
    temperature regulation even further and make the heat more dangerous, so read up on that and be aware of meds + heat reactions.
    Wearing a brimmed hat with a cool pack in the crown helps me,
    plus those cool-gel bandanas, or even a regular cotton scarf or bandana dipped/wrung with cold water and tied around the neck can really help keep body temp. stay normal.
    A paper fan in hand is helpful, it could even be a fashion accessory.
    Stay under an umbrella, avoid being in direct sun or hot cars, and be sure to stay hydrated.
    It's very dangerous and unpleasant to find out too late that you're overheated.
    Coconut water is good for rehydrating.
    Stay cool!

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