Slap on bracelets were popular among kids and teens in the
1980s and 1990s and were invented by a Wisconsin schoolteacher named Stuart
Anders. From a straightened out state, they can be slapped against the wrist, at
which point they wrap around the wrist. Many children have encountered slap on
bracelets when attending school, seeing them on the wrists of their classmates.
More recently, some people have thought to combine reflective bands with slap
on bracelets to create reflective slap bands
. The reflective bands are the kind
that you would see on a safety vest, a grayish material which shines brightly
under headlights or flashlights.
In an effort to promote safety, they would make a great
party favor for a nighttime event. Kids would sure have a lot of fun playing
with these. They aren't prone to breaking either and nor are they especially
dangerous, being lightweight plastic that isn't rigid or sharp enough to
puncture or abrade and not small enough to be ingested.
If you think about it, reflective slap bands are a good alternative to a bulky
safety vest. You can carry a few of them flat in your pack and then just slap
them on your wrists if you feel you need to be more visible to drivers at
night. And they're just as easy to remove and store, unlike a safety vest. Bikers
might also use them to secure the extra pant material around their legs to
prevent it from being caught in the chain and gears, which, as many people can
tell you, should definitely be avoided!
At first, slap bracelets
were made out of a cloth covered thin piece of metal
which was maybe a bit over a foot long and one and a half inches wide. The
cloth covering had patterns on it, such as leopard print or zebra stripes. They
were marketed as a toy to children. The company most widely credited with
inventing them is Main Street Toy, based in Simsbury, Conn.
In the later years of the 1990's, a plastic band was being used instead of
metal to allow the product to coil up. After changing to plastic, the product
was safe. Now with reflective bands
, slap bands are way safer and more useful.
Who would have guessed that a functional safety product with a simple and
elegant design would have started as a fad in the eighties?