As summer swells, so do many favorite activities—streetball, cookouts, fireworks, trips to the beach. But just as these joys of summer make for a time of play, they also make for a time of unrecognized risk.
While every activity involves a certain amount of risk regardless of the season, summer stands out as a time when the risks expand. Not only does the pleasant weather draw out a larger number of people and more activity among them, but it may also involve more dangerous and strenuous activities. Plus, a considerable portion of these activities take place under the beating sun. Extreme heat kills more than 600 people in the United States each year, and it’s safe to assume that these deaths aren’t typically happening in winter.1
The unrecognized hazards of summer
Teenagers taking summer jobs are among those heavily exposed to summer health hazards. While year-round jobs for young people are commonly indoors, summer jobs might not be. Whether they’re working on a farm, at a park or at a summer camp, teens are performing physically demanding activities in substantial and often uncontrolled heat conditions. And they’re doing this in growing bodies that are not fully developed. All of this translates into teens facing considerably higher rates of job-related injuries than their adult counterparts.2
But jobs are only one of summertime’s unrecognized risks. Other activities can be just as chancy, or even flat-out dangerous.
Take fireworks, for example. On Independence Day or at neighborhood gatherings, fireworks can galvanize a community—and inflict a great deal of harm. Even NFL players have lost their fingers by playing with fireworks.3 But that doesn’t stop people from using them: 2019 saw about 10,000 people in the United States treated for fireworks-related injuries.4
The real cost of sunburns
Every year, 1 in 3 adults in the United States gets sunburned, and 60% of Americans say they’ve been sunburned so badly that their clothes were uncomfortable.5 Sunburns are usually accidental—and sometimes so severe that they have to be treated as actual accidents: More than 33,000 sunburns require emergency room visits each year.6 The average cost of a sunburn-induced ER visit is an unfriendly $1,132.25.7
In the long term, sunburns can become even more costly. With about 9,500 people diagnosed with the condition every day,8 skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. And sunburns increase your risk of every kind of skin cancer.9 So not only are sunburns physically aggravating, but they can also lead to hospital visits, cancer and the associated costs of both.
Supplemental insurance can help your workforce make the most of summer
The 58% of employees who save their vacation time for the prime summer months10—June, July and August—may not be prepared for the potential expenses of summertime’s risks and dangers. But by offering supplemental insurance, employers can help their workforce stay prepared for the unexpected. Of employees enrolled in supplemental insurance, 93% say that their policies help protect their financial security.11
Aflac provides a number of supplemental insurance options, and three in particular can be helpful in combating summertime risks turned realities: accident insurance, hospital indemnity insurance and cancer insurance. Helping employees pay for expenses that aren’t covered by health insurance can be a lifesaver, figuratively and literally. As the song goes, there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues—but there is help for the rest of the season’s ailments.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Extreme Heat.” Last reviewed 9.25.2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
2 Safety+Health. “CDC study looks at on-the-job injuries among young workers.” Published 12.11.2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
3 ESPN. “Buccaneers’ Jason Pierre-Paul has embraced his amputations and grown; now he’s helping me.” Published 2.2.2021. Accessed 5.13.2021.
4 Consumer Product Safety Commission. “2019 Fireworks Annual Report.” Published June 2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
5 Intrado. “Survey: 60% of Americans Say They Have Gotten Sunburned So Badly Their Clothes Were Uncomfortable.” Published 5.18.2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
6 National Cancer Institute. “Sunburn.” Updated March 2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
7 Archives of Dermatological Research. “Trends in emergency department visits due to sunburn and factors associated with severe sunburns in the United States.” Published 4.9.2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
8 Intrado. “Survey: 60% of Americans Say They Have Gotten Sunburned So Badly Their Clothes Were Uncomfortable.” Published 5.18.2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
9 American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Skin Cancer.” Published 2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
10 PR Newswire. “Survey: Majority Of Workers Save Vacation Time For Summer.” Published 5.21.2019. Accessed 5.13.2021.
11 Aflac. “Aflac WorkForces Report: Workplace Benefits Trends Executive Summary.” Published September 2020. Accessed 5.13.2021.
Content within this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting or medical advice regarding any specific situation. Aflac cannot anticipate all the facts that a particular employer will have to consider in their benefits decision-making process. Coverage may not be available in all states. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on state and plan levels. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies/riders have limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. For complete details, including availability and costs, please contact your local Aflac benefits advisor.
Accident: In Idaho, Policies A36100ID–A36400ID, & A363OFID. In Oklahoma, Policies A36100OK–A36400OK, A363OFOK; or Policies A371AAOK, A371BOK. In Virginia, Policies A35100VA–A35400VA, A35B24VA, A35BOFVA; or Policies A371AAVA, A371BAOK.
Cancer/Specified-Disease: In Idaho, Policies B70100ID, B70200ID, B70300ID, B7010EPID, B7020EPID. In Oklahoma, Policies B70100OK; B70200OK; B70300OK; B7010EPOK; B7020EPOK. In Virginia, Policies A75100VA–A75300VA.
Hospital Confinement Indemnity: In Idaho, Policies B40100ID & B4010HID. In Oklahoma, Policies B40100OK & B4010HOK. In Virginia, Policies B40100VA & B4010HVA.
Coverage is underwritten by Aflac. In New York, coverage is underwritten by Aflac New York.
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