b. Consume Salt in Meals. A soldier who eats three regular meals each day
should get enough salt to replace the salt lost through perspiration. A soldier should
not supplement his regular diet by taking salt tablets. Sports drinks are a good method
of replacing electrolytes and water. They should be taken according to the label
directions indicating serving size and amount. In hot environments, many soldiers do
not have much of an urge to eat. It may be beneficial to eat several times a day. Eating
smaller meals or snacks more often can maintain the body's electrolyte balance much
better than eating three large meals each day.
c. Wear Clothing Properly. Clothing protects the body from solar radiation
(sunlight). Unprotected skin may develop serious sunburn. When possible, clothing
should be light and loose fitting, especially at the neck, wrists, and lower legs. This
allows for better air circulation, which helps to cool off the body. Soldiers wearing full
individual protective equipment (IPE) to protect themselves from chemical and biological
agents are especially prone to heat injury because the protective clothing traps much of
the heat energy produced by the body. Soldiers who must wear IPE gear in hot
climates may be ordered to not wear their shirts and trousers under the protective
overgarments. Body armor and other equipment also greatly reduce the body's ability
to expel heat, increasing the risk of heat injury.
d. Take Rest Breaks. Rest breaks help a person's body to cool off. A person
working in a moderately hot environment may need to take a 5-minute rest break in a
shaded area after each 25-minute work period. A person performing heavy work in a
hot environment may need to rest about as much as he works. Rest breaks should be
taken only if the tactical situation allows.
e. Modify Work Schedules as Needed.
(1) Work schedules must be tailored to fit the climate, the physical condition
of the personnel, and the military situation. The heavier work should be scheduled to be
performed during the cooler hours of the day.
Work should be performed in a shaded area, if possible.
(3) Personnel who are new to the climate should have their outside work
scheduled to promote acclimation to the area. Acclimation (also called acclimatization)
is the process that the body goes through while it adjusts to a new environment. Full
acclimation (the ability to perform a maximum amount of work in the new environment)
can best be achieved by scheduling outside work to be performed during the coolest
hours of the morning and afternoon at first (usually an hour in the morning and an hour
in the afternoon), then gradually expanding the working periods during the next couple
of weeks until the soldiers are working a regular schedule.