Heat Illness Prevention & Sun Safety

Last Updated: May 25, 2023
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Soldier in desert

​​​​​​​Heat is the leading cause of death among weather-related phenomena, and is becoming more dangerous as 18 of the last 19 years were the hottest on record, states the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Military personnel can be at high risk for heat illness, especially during rigorous physical outdoor training (see articleExternal Link). 

DCPH-A has prepared a Heat Illness Preven​tion Guide​​ for Soldiers as a quick reference for the major update to TB Med 507​External Link, the Army heat casualty prevention doctrine manual. DCPH-A is in process of updating its products and webpages. If you​ have questions please Contact Us

Heat Illness

Heat illness refers to a spectrum of conditions (e.g., heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke).

Heat illness occurs when the body cannot compensate for increased core temperature due to environmental heat and/or metabolic heat produced by physical exertion.

Factsheet: Heat Injury and Illness Prevention (pending update)

Training Slides: Heat Illness Risk Management ​(pending update)

Article: Are heat-related medical conditions among Soldiers rising?External Link​ (Mar 2022)


Click banner to learn about the types of heat illnesses


Heat Illness Impacts Readiness

Heat illness is a threat to individual health and to military operational success.

  • Since 2014, more than 1,500 Soldiers each year have developed a heat illness that required medical attention and/or lost duty time
  • Heat illnesses were responsible for more than 20,500 lost/limited duty days in 2017


Heat illness and dehydration can significantly degrade performance and increase core body temperature.

  • Losing as much as 4% of body weight from dehydration can degrade physical performance
  • Every 1% loss of body weight increases core temperature (0.10-0.23⁰C or 0.18-0.40⁰F), thereby increasing risk of a more serious heat illness


 Click banner to view Exertional Heat Illness video on YouTube External Link 

Link to video on milTube, with captions (CAC required) External Link


Click banner to view DCPH-A Heat Related Injury Reports


If you have additional questions, please contact the DCPH-A Disease Epidemiology Branch at: 

Email Address: dha.apg.pub-health-a.mbx.disease-epidemiologyprogram13@health.mil​

Telephone: 410-417-2377       

DSN: 867-2377  ​