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Friday, July 06, 2012

Reflective Slap Bands
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?

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