You might not have given much notice to the tiny hole at the tip of your pen cap. Noticeably on BIC brand pens, and many other types of pens, there is actually a very important safety reason behind this design.
It’s not just for aesthetic design appeal, it’s actually to save your life.
The little hole is there so that if by chance someone were to swallow the small piece, air could still pass through their throat to their lungs. Small children in particularly are prone to getting their hands on tiny objects that can easily block their airways, but they aren’t the only ones at risk.
Some people tend to chew on pen caps, and it can be accidentally swallowed that way. One British teen actually chocked to death after a pen cap slide down his throat and became stuck.
According to the BIC company website, the caps are intended to comply with international safety standards.
An added, functional perk to the design is that it prevents a pressure vacuum from being created when the cap is placed over the tip of the pen. This prevents ink from being pulled from the pen and wasted.