February 3, 2014

news-keeping-special-needs-loved-ones-warm-winter-tips-wheelchair-heater-generator-safety-tips-pediatric-adult-home-health-care-skilled-nursing-nj-tx-pa-de-ma-tylerHow are you and your loved ones keeping warm this winter?

Earlier this month, we gave you general tips to stay warm and healthy during winter. However, we know that when you have a loved one with special needs, you have a unique set of circumstances to consider.

Since it’s important to keep children and adults with special needs warm in a manner that suits their specific needs, we’re sharing some additional tips that others have found useful.  For more tips, visit Friendship Circle of Michigan.

  • Wheelchair cozy toes – For wheelchair dependent loved ones, convert an old sleeping bag into a wheelchair cover.
  • Leg warmers/snow boots – These are very easy to put on and can add an additional layer of warmth.
  • Ski trousers – Ski trousers are great for wheelchair users. For extra warmth, put thermal long johns underneath.
  • Ski mittens – These are much easier to put on than ski gloves, and they are very warm.
  • Be a role model – Children will often mimic what they see. If you wear warm clothing in the winter, it will help your child to learn these routines as well.

As you can see, a little creativity can go a long way in keeping your loved one warm. But what about your home?

Keeping your home warm is also very important, but you should be aware of the potential hidden dangers.

To help you avoid these dangers, our friends at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission  and the American Red Cross share the following tips to keep your home safe:

  • Maintain well-insulated windows and doors, and don’t forget to keep fireplaces, space heaters, and generators in good working condition.
  • Do not use electric heaters in tightly closed spaces or within three feet of flammable materials such as papers, curtains or beds.
  • Store all combustible emergency equipment such as oxygen tanks at least 10 feet away from heating devices.
  • Hire a trained professional to check your fireplace annually to ensure it’s safe for use.
  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a central location on all levels of your home.
  • Always follow strict manufacturer’s instructions when using generators.
  • Do not use gasoline-powered generators indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

For more tips on staying safe and healthy this winter, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

M. Kirven, RN
Clinical Director – Temple, Texas