Time for a Reality Check
Let’s be honest here: Wearing body armor is not the most comfortable experience. But, without a doubt, it is a life-saving, invaluable piece of the protective ensemble.
Unfortunately, wearing body armor in high-temperature environments can pose more of a health risk and performance hindrance than going without it.
An Uncomfortable Necessity
Modern-day ballistic armor is a thermal insulation that naturally interferes with heat conduction and convection, which creates a barrier which blocks the evaporation of sweat and increases surface body temperature. But it must be worn at all times to ensure the safety of our first responders. This is a natural by-product of its effectiveness in stopping ballistic force. Because of this natural reality, our warriors and law enforcement personnel can suffer from heat illness and heat casualty far too often. This inability to transmit body heat that develops between ballistic armor and the torso causes the following detrimental effects:
- Decreased cognitive performance
- Decreased critical decision-making abilities
- Increased exhaustion
- Heat stroke/illness
Blunt Trauma Still Impacts.
As uncomfortable as armor can be, it is incredibly effective at stopping bullet penetration. But, blunt trauma can still be impactful behind armor, causing soft tissue, musculoskeletal and organ damage. And although a direct hit to armor may not be fatal, it can certainly result in incapacitation and delayed response to the deadly threat.