It’s extra difficult to keep warm when you’re sitting still and unable to get your heart rate up, so hopefully these suggestions will help keep your kids warmer this winter.
Invest in a warm wheelchair or buggy cover.
There are so many different options on the market and personal style will be a big factor in deciding which one you prefer. Willow Bug & BundleBean both sell wheelchair covers suitable for a variety of different children’s wheelchairs and buggies.
I recently got some of these foot warmers for my husband to wear while he is out cycling as he has really bad circulation and always comes home with blue toes! They are great and would be ideal for wheelchair users who suffer from cold feet. They stay warm for up to 6 hours so perfect if you’re heading out somewhere cold for the day.
*Top tip* When using these make sure they are warm before you put them into the shoes, otherwise they don’t work properly!
These might be a bit big to fit into small childrens shoes but you could always pop a pair of comfy slippers on instead to allow room for them. These are used by children’s GB ski team so they must be good!
Microwavable Wheat Bag
These are great for warming you up after being in the cold and are a great alternative to a hot water bottle. You can make one of these really easily with some left over fabric and uncooked rice and there are lots of tutorials on Pinterest. But if you aren’t good with a sewing machine then you can buy these from your local chemist or order from Amazon. There are so many different types, shapes, colours etc. I have been known to ‘borrow’ Williams wheat bag once he’s in bed to keep me warm on the sofa!
I have also made a couple of smaller ones which we can pop under Williams hands if they’re extra cold. I even used these in my pockets today when I took the dog out for a walk!
We all know if you want to stay warm you need to wear layers! But that’s ok for us as we can take off layers easily if we get too hot! One warm thermal layer might be a more suitable solution if you find it difficult, like I do, to get layers off your children.
I have personally tried this, but several families have recommended Harmaki tummy wraps which are designed to keep your core body temperature stable and gives a sense of warmth. They are meant to help maintain the body’s core warmth and boost circulation. They fit snug under clothes without bulging and are very popular in Japan. But because they don’t have sleeves they mean there is less bulk and might be easier to take on or off. If you have tried one of these (either personally or with your kids,) please let me know your feedback in the comments. If you have no idea what this even is just click here to read more!
Wear gloves or mittens
Keeping hands warm isn’t always easy. Gloves can be a nightmare to get onto William so we usually opt for mitten or socks! Yes socks on hands can be brilliant, the longer the better! Long thermal socks pulled up to the elbow will help to keep the whole arm warm!
It can be tricky to find mittens for bigger children but Willow Bug do waterproof ones with a fleece lining in larger sizes.
People always advise you to run your wrists under a warm tap for five seconds each every couple of hours. Because the main vein passes through this area, it helps warm the blood. It is difficult to get William close enough to get his hands under a warm tap, so we sometimes pop a warm wheat bag or hand warmer on his wrists instead.
Wear a hat – or a hoodie!
I’m sure your mum always used to make you wear a hat in the winter and this is one of those tricks that really works. But hats can be hard to keep on and William always ends up with his over his eyes or popping off the top of his head, in fact the only hat we don’t have this problem with is a Santa hat! Luckily a hoodie does just as good a job so we opt for a hooded sweater or a hood on a warm coat instead!
Last winter William got a snuggly snood for Christmas and he wore it all the time. It kept him so toasty and I was able to pull it up to keep his ears warm on really cold days. I’d recommend a knitted one so it’s not too hot, this one was from an Instagram seller called Made by Nanny.
This is pretty obvious for those children who can drink, but William isn’t great at drinking and has most of his fluids via his gastrostomy. But cold water in the winter isn’t going to help to keep his body temperature up so we sometimes opt for warm water when needed (warm though, not hot!).
If your child is tube fed you might be able to warm their milk by putting the pouch into some warm water, but do check the instructions in case your brand isn’t recommended to be warmed and make sure it isn’t too hot before you start the feed.
And finally, just for you, the wheelchair pushers…
Have you seen these before? They are designed for use with a buggy or pram but would also be ideal for keeping your hands warm while pushing a wheelchair wouldn’t they? I am about to order myself some having been recommended them by a friend!
I found two types on Amazon, the fleece lined hand muff in (left) would work really well with our wheelchair as we have one bar but if your child uses a chair with 2 handles maybe mittens would work better?
I’m sure there are lots of other top tips you can share with me to help me keep William warm, so please leave a comment for me!