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How the Color of Your Kid's Swimsuit Could Save Their Life

Researchers reveal the safest colors for kid’s swimsuits and those that tend to blend in easily and disappear underwater.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated April 13, 2023
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Image: Alena Antsygina | Shutterstock

Pool gates, swim lessons and supervision all play an important role in keeping your child safe around water, but did you know your fashion choices could too?

ALIVE Solutions Inc., a company specializing in aquatic safety, urges parents to put a little extra thought into their tiny tot’s swimsuit purchases. Beyond a fashion statement, the color and pattern your child wears makes a big difference in their visibility while playing in the pool. Being able to spot your little one easily is important when it comes to preventing accidents and aiding in rescues.

Researchers recently put several swimsuit colors and patterns to the test to see their visibility in both pools and open water. Here’s what they found.

  • Neon colors offer the ultimate visibility. Just like a neon vest can keep you safe when running or biking on the side of the road, neon colors, including bright orange, yellow and green, were crucial in spotting a child underwater. Neon orange performed best across all categories.
  • Contrast matters Certain colors show up better in certain places. 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. While neon pink provided an easy-to-see pop of color in pool settings, it disappeared quicker in open water areas.
  • White and light blue are difficult to see Especially in pools with light bottoms, these hues easily blended in with their surroundings and camouflaged little swimmers.
  • Small patterns don’t impact visibility very much. The study also looked at patterns and determined that, in a pool environment, small patterns had little effect on visibility, but large dark patterns often decreased visibility.

The bottom line—think bright and contrasting when shopping for swimsuits for your kiddos. And remember, no matter how bright or cute your child’s suit is, swim skills and constant supervision around water are key to keeping your child safe. As you head out, keep these pool and swimming safety tips in mind.

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