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The Un-Safe Safety Pins?

If you’re a competing athlete who needs to fasten number bibs to your shiny exercise gear from time to time, chances are you are no stranger to an elaborate safety pin routine. Over the years, people have developed many special techniques of fastening bib numbers using these unruly devices. There are countless tutorials available online containing tips and tricks, as well as sharing the understandable frustration that goes along with it. After all, up to seven pins are usually needed to secure the bib number – and not only it’s time-consuming, but also poses risks such as ruining the costume or even stabbing yourself in a rather unpleasant way.

Not like competition days aren’t busy enough without these problems…

Turns out, however, that there is more drama involved – safety pins are not exactly the safest items to keep around! There are numerous reports of accidents involving safety pins – here are a couple of uninspiring examples.


Curious little ones

This one is for you if there are kids in your household – too bad this toddler didn’t find a better pin alternative…

A recent accident in Aurangabad, India, has left the mother worried after her eight-month-old son accidentally swallowed an open safety pin while being breastfed. Apparently, the pin was hooked to a chain in mother’s neck and accidentally slipped without her noticing.

A local pediatrician Dr. Rajiv Totla examined the child shortly after the freak accident occurred, finding the toddler “was stable and his abdomen was soft. The fresh X-ray revealed the pin was in upper abdomen but was not causing any harm. I put the child under observation for a few more days for gravity to play its role. A fresh X-ray showed the pin had moved towards the rectum without injuring his intestine.

We did a small medical procedure the next day and removed the pin,” – the doctor told The Times of India reporters.

Unfortunately, such accidents are way too common all around the world, as evidenced by another recent occurrence. A few months ago, a little boy from the town of Caraisan, Ilocos Sur had to be hospitalized after ingesting a safety pin.

The mother didn’t notice her son playing with an odd safety pin lying around the house, so she was very surprised when the boy suddenly started crying and complaining that his throat felt very sore.

“When I opened his mouth and looked inside”, – the mother told the reporters, – “I saw that the safety pin was already in his throat. He kept crying yesterday. Whenever he swallowed, he cried.” This called for an emergency investigation – the boy was rushed to a local hospital, where the pin was promptly removed by the concerned medical workers. Fortunately, the pin didn’t go deep, and there were no complications – however, the doctors were quick to note that’s not always the case, and the consequences could have been very sad. Even though it was certainly a happy ending, the boy still required a course of strong antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

It could happen to anyone, really…

It’s not only the little ones who get in trouble with safety pins though!

A case report from the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery tells the story of a 29-year old woman with a safety pin lodged in her appendix. The pin location was particularly concerning in this case, since foreign bodies may induce appendicitis and at the same time they rarely move on their own, meaning an interventional procedure is usually necessary.

The young lady initially presented with unusual abdominal pain, leaving the medical team quite puzzled, especially since communication was limited due to the patient’s Prader-Willi syndrome, responsible for auto-aggressive behavior.

Eventually, an abdominal radiograph showed a metallic foreign body which appeared to be a safety pin. Its position remained unchanged under observation, so an intervention was necessary. After a failed colonoscopy and a subsequent laparoscopic appendectomy, the problem was resolved – just on time to treat the aggressive ulcerative appendicitis the safety pin caused.


Scare off?

Now, we’re not telling you these stories to scare you off, nor we are trying to say that safety pins are a gift from hell and should be destroyed. After all, those are a clever invention useful in many situations, from temporarily mending damaged clothing to attaching patches.

However, using them as bib fasteners regularly usually means losing a pin or two around the house eventually, which can lead to all sorts of jabbing accidents. So if you can avoid it and have one less problem before an important event – why not look for a pin alternative?

Fortunately, at BibBoards, we have created awesome bib snaps that are much quicker and easier to use than safety pins. Simply snap on four of those onto each corner of your bib – and you’re good to go! These two-piece safety pin replacements are reusable and don’t damage your clothing, which makes these bib clips essential for any event! When the race is over, BibBoards simply pop off with no fuss. What a time to be alive!

The only real catch here is that they can only be used on a single layer of fabric – just in case, don’t forget to remove anything you won’t need from (e.g. leaflets, coupons, receipts) the back of your bib before using the bib snaps, and you’re good to go.

There is a time and place for everything – and safety pins belong in workshops, not on your awesome exercise gear! Avoid freak accidents and disappointment, and make a switch to BibBoards today.