Beach Fun and Wheelchair Access

wheelchair                               BEACH OPTIONS                               201107216

It’s memorial day weekend and vacations are being planned all over the United States.  One of our families preferred vacations is the beach.  Our family loves the beach.  When Mel was younger, it was easy to toss her on your back and trample off into the sand.  As she got older, and heavier; however, the beach trips became less frequent.  Sand and wheelchairs do not mix.  Even parents of older kids can be pulled into despair when their child is stuck, sitting on a blanket, while the rest of the family swims and runs in the sand.

Life sometimes is just not fair and the beach is one place this can be shoved into a parent’s face.  Kids with mobility impairments need to enjoy the beach and fortunately options do exist

When Mel was around ten, we spent a week on the beach in Florida and were introduces to beach or surf chairs.  I wish, oh – how I wish, we knew these existed when she was younger.  These chairs gave Mel the ability to safely get to the water and enjoy a leisurely stroll down the beach.  The beach or surf chair varies in cost. We have rented them for $75 a day, $10 a day and even received them free of charge.  Ask at the hotel’s front desk.   We have switched hotels just to be closer to a rental site.  They are made of PVC pipe and can be pushed into about 6 inches of water.  They do not float and are not stable enough to allow the child to stay in the chair without an adult holding the push handle.  We have seen several variations of beach and surf chairs.  We have even seen one that was made, by a dad, from material purchased from the local hardware store.  The designs are all somewhat similar.  The only drawback is someone must push the chair.  I have not seen one that a child could push independently.

If someone has seen a low-cost surf chair that can be self-propelled, please comment below

The last time we went to South Padre, we met a wonderful family whose child was in the above Action Track Chair. Her grandfather was an avid hunter and this was his hunting vehicle.  Rita’s grandfather was small and so the chair fit Rita quite well.  She could drive the Action Track Chair with a joy stick.  Rita was also excited for us to know that grandpa had adapted the chair so she could also go hunting.  She uses a mounted I-Pad to aim the gun.  The gun is also mounted on the Action Track Chair.  Rita’s dad reported the Action Track chair runs around $6,000.  Options can be expensive.  The web site for the Action Track Chair is   http://www.actiontrackchair.com/

Now while at the Beach, all kids need to get dirty. What better way than sandcastle building.  Did you guys know that building a really cool sand castle is actually very easy?   Want to learn how?     Click here for a lesson.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJdCboFiArY

I’ll pretend this is my castle but I have to admit I had an expert help.

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