They're colorful. They're fun. They come in different shapes. They intrigue kids of all ages. While Silly Bandz seem harmless, many schools have decided to ban these cheap elastic rubber bands that kids pile onto their wrists. So, what's the deal? Do these Silly Bandz deserve all this negative attention?
See also Does Reverse Psychology Work?
Why They're So Popular
As a parent, you probably know all about these Silly Bandz. No doubt your kid has more than a few on his or her wrist, neck, fingers and wherever else they can pile them on. Your little kid probably shows off all the new shapes he or she has acquired from trading on the playground. You've probably also had to spend quite some time picking up these colorful silicone bracelets off the living room floor. But, they seem to be worth this little annoyance. They're cheap and they make kids happy -- so what's the problem, right? Wrong -- some schools have a huge beef against them.
Schools are increasingly finding these rubber band bracelets a major distraction and have gone as far as to ban them all together. What could be so distracting, besides the rainbow of colors on a kid's wrist? Kids have begun to snap them at each other and have even gotten into fights over bracelet trades gone bad. They also seem to be paying more attention to sorting through these bands at their desk than what's going on in the classroom. They're kids, what do you expect? But, still, school is for learning and anything that disrupts that process shouldn't be allowed. So, Silly Bandz have joined the ranks of spaghetti straps and belly shirts at school -- on the no-way-are-you-wearing-that list.
Even though they seem pretty harmless, except when kids decide to snap them at each other, they could pose risks to your kids' health. One middle school student went to the school nurse complaining of her fingers cramping. Well, guess what? She was wearing 45 bands on each arm and was cutting off her hand's circulation! So, there IS such a thing as too many Silly Bandz. Medical professionals are suggesting parents make sure their kids are not wearing too many bracelets at once and to check that they are not tight enough to constrict blood flow to the hands and fingers. Additionally, you should make sure your kid doesn't wear them for longer than a couple of hours at a time, and that they do not sleep with them on. If you notice indentations on your kid's skin, numbing, tingling, or color change, those are all signs that the Silly Bandz need to come off immediately.
Silly Bandz, especially as the craze has spread to older kids and teens, have been blamed for indicating or leading to sex acts. Each color has been linked to a different sex act -- red for performing a lap dance, blue for oral sex and so on. If a kid snaps one of the colors on another kid's wrist, that indicates that the snapper wants to do the specific sex act with the snapee. Seems silly, right? These Silly Bandz are just an updated version of the colorful Jelly Bandz that were linked to sexual activity a decade ago. Kids who may partake in this trend would probably find some other way to do these sexual acts, even if the bracelets did not exist. But, the harm comes when these Silly Bandz start putting undue pressure on kids who do not desire this kind of sexual attention. The good news is that all this can probably be averted if you talk to your kids about peer pressure and sex.
Whether you agree with the risk of Silly Bandz or just think all this negative attention is ridiculous, it's important to know all the facts about a trend your kid and his or her friends are really into. And, if you are starting to have second doubts about this trend, don't rely on your kid's school banning Silly Bandz and think that's the end of it. These elastic bands may be around for a while, are only growing in popularity, and appear at other places besides school. Take responsibility for your kid's behavior with these Silly Bandz. Talk to them and set rules, when applicable.