Zipper Injuries — The Secret Crisis

This is a slow news day, so we visited the website of the CBS TV station in Sacramento, California. There we found this frightening headline: More Than 17,500 Genital Injuries From Zippers In US.

That got your attention, didn’t it? They say, with bold font added by us:

More than 17,500 people in less than a decade have had genital injuries caused by zippers, according to a recent study. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco discovered that about 900 men ages 18 and older each year in the U.S. go to emergency rooms due to their penis being caught in a zipper.

That’s roughly three tragic incidents per day — not counting children. For comparison purposes, we looked up shooting deaths. Bloomberg reports, in this article, that “About 85 Americans are shot dead daily — 53 of them suicides.” Excluding suicide, that’s roughly 32 gun fatalities per day. What does our comparison tell you? Nothing, nothing at all — except perhaps that a zipper isn’t quite as lethal as a gun — especially considering that everyone uses a zipper several times each day. Zippers are relatively safe. But still — yuk!

We found the paper on which the news report is based. It’s published in a peer-reviewed journal, BJU International. We’re not sure what those letters mean, but it was formerly the British Journal of Urology. Here’s the paper: Zip-related genital injury. Okay, back to the news story:

The study, which was published in BJU International, estimated that from 2002 to 2010, about 17,616 people went to the ER for zipper-induced genital injuries.

Egad — it’s a veritable epidemic! Why has the press been so silent on this topic? Are they in league with the zipper manufacturers to keep this menace hushed up? Let’s read on. Aha — they save the best statistic for the end:

Penile injuries relating to zippers paced ahead of penile injuries based on bicycle injuries among adult men, according to the study.

Zippers are more dangerous than bicycles! All right, now look — this is serious. We think Congress should get to work immediately to control this menace. What should be done?

To begin with, zippers should be registered. And taxed! Garment manufacturers and clothing stores should be required to display warning signs. Clothing equipped with buttons should be offered as an alternative, and zipper buyers should be required to sign a waiver stating that they are aware of the risks, but have knowingly chosen to go with the zipper. Minors shouldn’t be allowed to buy clothing equipped with zippers unless they’re accompanied by a responsible adult. Schools should teach zipper safety, starting in the earliest grades. And most importantly, we urge that assault zippers — those with particularly large and vicious teeth — should be banned.

In closing (no pun) we note that zippers aren’t mentioned in scripture. The holy men in the bible didn’t use them. It’s time we returned to the old ways — before we’re all doomed!

All right, it’s the weekend, so go ahead and use the comments for an Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Zipper Injuries — The Secret Crisis

  1. Can we predict a revival of buttons, and a decline in the use of zippers?

  2. I, too, once had a zipper bite on a sensitive part when I was a young lad. Fortunately, it didn’t necessitate a trip to the ER or result in any injury other than some temporary pain. I quickly learned how not to repeat that experience. The Curmudgeon makes some excellent suggestions on how to deal with this rampant problem. Another suggestion would be to license people to use zippers. Think of the fees government could assess for training, licensing, renewing licenses, fines for non-compliance, etc. I bet they could eliminate (or at least reduce) all deficits! And, it wouldn’t cost much to do that, just make zippering part of the DMV.

    I wonder how many other dangers we haven’t thought of that need to be addressed? People who put their hand on hot stoves? Run with scissors? Stick things in electric sockets? Stick fingers in doors? Walk and chew gum at the same time? Serious problems need serious answers!

  3. GFF (Genital Friendly Fashion) Has been around for longer than you might suspect.
    B.O. Jeans

  4. Tsk! Zippers, schmippers, there is a far, far more terrifying menace–but I blush to mention it on a family friendly blog.

    But I can direct you to the .pdf download from the British Medical Journal: Penile injuries from vacuum cleaners

  5. OK, full disclosure: t’was me making the Anonymous post above. All unwittingly, I thought I was logged in. Honest!

    …And no, I wasn’t a a case study for the BMJ article!

  6. Rampant gender bias! I’ll bet some hungry lawyer will initiate a class-action negligence lawsuit against Talon, YKK, etc.

  7. @Megalonyx: That sucks!

  8. The more I think about this, the more furious I become. Thousands of trips to the emergency room! This is an outrage! Why doesn’t the government do something? Only they can save us from this, ah, gripping menace! Pants should be equipped with mandatory safety belts and air bags, with warning lights to tell us when we’re not properly strapped in. Only when the safety systems are fully deployed should the zipper be allowed to function. And there should be, ah, stiff penalties for non-compliance. Write to your Congressman. It’s time to demand action!

  9. Levi 501 jeans, boys.

  10. Perhaps zippers could be manufactured to reverse direction when encountering resistance, much like garage doors.

  11. Perhaps the only solution is to go back to pants like those in the old Navy uniforms, with a broad flap held in place with several buttons around the edges.

  12. Our Curmudgeon proposes:

    Perhaps the only solution is to go back to pants like those in the old Navy uniforms

    Not going back far enough in time, IMHO.

    It’s time to dispense with clothing altogether, as Olivia and I routinely do.

    After all, if God wanted people to run around naked, we would have been born that way.

    Quod erat demonstandum…

  13. Megalonyx says: “It’s time to dispense with clothing altogether, as Olivia and I routinely do.”

    Yes, but the two of you are never in the same place at the same time.

  14. Our Curmudgeon notes:

    the two of you are never in the same place at the same time

    Not quite. It is true that Olivia and I are never seen together naked, but that is only as decorum demands and the world expects.

    As for the fact that I have never been seen in the same place as Superman — well, draw your own conclusions…

  15. Megalonyx desperately says: “As for the fact that I have never been seen in the same place as Superman — well, draw your own conclusions …”

    It’s also true that you’re never seen in the same place with Queen Elizabeth. What conclusion should I draw from that?

  16. Lewis Thomasonn

    As the victim of a vicious zipper I can only say Mother of God that smarted.

  17. OK…so we’ve dealt with zippers and guns…how about zip guns?? 😀

  18. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    This study and article exposes the only real solution.
    Open carry should be legalized.

  19. Levi 501 jeans, boys.

    Is this complicated?

    And most importantly, we urge that assault zippers — those with particularly large and vicious teeth — should be banned.

    Yes, I totally see the analogy between a device designed to close a garment, which may cause accidental non-lethal injury to the one who chose to buy it, and a device designed to open a body, intended to cause deliberate death to dozens of others who chose not to buy it. Now THAT’s a valid analogy.

  20. How many boys must suffer unbearable pain and humiliation before government bans these high-capacity, semi-automatic, military-style zippers? If it saves one penis, it’s worth it! It’s for the children!! Waaaaaaaa!

  21. This was a painful read.

    I recommend that we advocate for Zipper Insurance to help compensate the unfortunate victims.

  22. The likelihood of a zipper assault is much greater if you’re going commando, so …. wear underwear.

  23. Retired Prof

    retiresciguy, underwear is good, but only in moderation. On our frigid Wisconsin winter days I wear tighty-whitey shorts, heavy long underwear, and thick wool pants. The pants at least possess the virtue of a button fly and can’t pinch. However, the layers overwhelm my already modest endowments, which intensify the problem by shrinking when cold air flows in through the aperture. (When one January day I was hauled in on suspicion of indecent exposure, the charges were dropped for insufficient evidence.)

    So if it looks like somebody has hit me with a snowball below the belt that melted and dripped, it could actually be an inside job.

  24. Wear Utilikilts, guys! Free your balls & the rest will follow!

  25. I see the potential for a number of Darwin awards here. It seems like natural selection is at work, and predict (who says that evolution does not make predictions?) that within a number of generations, more males will be born with the genes that enable them to keep their reproductive apparatus out of their jeans, as their ancestors will be those who used their reproductive apparatus for something other than clogging a zipper.