Before You Buy a Bathing Suit for Your Kids, Look at This Color Visibility Test — It Could Prevent Drowning

Here’s how the color of your child’s bathing suit could save their life.

June 10, 2021
By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: njekaterina


For kids, one of the best parts of summer are days spent at the pool. From splashing around with friends to perfecting your cannonball, hitting the pool with your family is a summer rite of passage.

When it comes to what your child is wearing at the pool, usually it’s all about comfort; however, you may want to reevaluate the color of your child’s bathing suit. This isn’t for fashion, but for safety. The color they wear on a pool day could actually save their life.

According to a recent study by Alive Solutions, a company that examines water safety, certain colors have better visibility in pools and in open water. The colors that fared the best might surprise you.

Photo by: Alive Solutions

Alive Solutions

So, which colors should you avoid when choosing bathing suits for your kids and which should you avoid? Skip light colors and go for neon.

"Our bottom two colors are white and light blue (check out how they disappear) and our top choices would be neon pink and neon orange," the study mentions.

While darker colors are visible under the water, parents and lifeguards could actually assume they are something else.

"Although the darker colors show up on a light pool bottom, they can often be dismissed for a pile of leaves, dirt, or a shadow so I tend to stay away from those colors when possible," they explain.

The team also examined the colors of a bathing suit in open water, such as a lake, and found different results for visibility than the pool results. While neon colors like yellow, green, and orange were still the best options, neon pink did not perform well. However, all other colors "disappeared" quickly in only 18 inches of water. Since the open water is darker, the visibility of bathing suits changes.

"This test also reinforced how important it is in lakes, beaches, rivers, open water environments to keep people on the surface (with lifejackets)," the article goes on to say. "Also remember, the bright and contrasting colors help visibility, but it doesn’t matter what color your kids are wearing if you aren’t supervising effectively and actively watching!"

Another positive of those neon colors — it’s easier to spot your kids when they are not in the water. So pack up your pool bag, don’t forget their sunscreen, and this summer, neon is the way to go.

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