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Choosing a Swimsuit That’s Visible in the Water a Key Part of Swimming Safety

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Last week’s safety article began a new series on water safety. It highlighted water safety relative to drowning which is the single leading cause of deaths for children ages 1 to 4, the second-leading cause of injury death for children ages 5 to 9 and remains the top cause of unintentional deaths for older children. It is important to note that drowning is quick and silent unlike depictions in the movies. The fictitious movie version has the drowning person bobbing up and down at the surface trying to get air – false.

They are not splashing around yelling for help, so it is crucially important that parents take all the necessary precautions to help keep their children safe regardless of age. One such way is making sure your child is wearing the safest shade of swimsuit in case of a potential drowning accident. The right color is more important than the style, design or cute cartoon character on the front.

When shopping for swimwear, keep in mind that some apparel colors can actually look like a cluster of leaves or debris, and not a struggling child. (Adobe Stock)

When shopping for swimwear, keep in mind that some apparel colors can actually look like a cluster of leaves or debris, and not a struggling child. Some colors virtually disappear in water. Studies have shown that popular colors such as blues and greens, almost completely disappear, with light blue and white being the biggest losers.

So, what are the best colors to wear for visibility? The top three swimsuit colors that are the most visible in open water and the pool are:

  • bright orange
  • yellow
  • lime green

When shopping for swimsuits make sure you choose high visibility colors:

  • select vibrant hues such as neon green, hot pink, or bright orange. These shades stand out against the water and are easily noticeable even under varying light conditions.
  • consider choosing contrasting color combinations. For instance, a white swimsuit with bold patterns or colorful accents which makes your child stand out.
  • another color consideration is a swimsuit with reflective stripes or patches. These can catch and reflect light, making your child even more visible, especially during overcast weather or during early morning or late afternoon swims.

So always remember when shopping for swimwear, bright and contrasting colors can help with visibility, but it does not matter what color your child is wearing if you are not actively watching and supervising effectively. Keeping an Eye on your child’s safety while swimming in the open water or pool is a parental and/or guardian responsibility.