How the color of your child’s swimsuit could help save their life

Study finds certain colors are far more visible underwater

According to a study conducted by ALIVE Solutions Inc., neon orange and neon pink were the most visible colors in the pool. White and light blue were the least visible, regardless of whether the surface of the water was calm or rough. Dark colors, such as navy or black, while more visible than pale colors, are not the best choice either. They can look like shadows or debris on the bottom of the pool, causing them to blend in rather than stand out.

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – When it comes to picking out your child’s swimsuit, color is usually just one factor. It could be the most important one.

“It’s just visibility,” said Gary Hopp, the Eastern District Superintendent for the Metroparks. “It’s all about being able to see that person from a distance. That’s the same thing you need to think about when you’re purchasing swimsuits for your children.”

According to a study conducted by ALIVE Solutions Inc., neon orange and neon pink were the most visible colors in the pool. White and light blue were the least visible, regardless of whether the surface of the water was calm or rough. Dark colors, such as navy or black, while more visible than pale colors, are not the best choice either. They can look like shadows or debris on the bottom of the pool, causing them to blend in rather than stand out.

Read: Kimberly Gill: Swimming lessons have taught my child so many valuable skills

While swim lessons and close supervision are the most important factors when it comes to water safety, Hopp said wearing a bright color is helpful.

“It makes it easier to notice a person if they happen to be in distress,” said Hopp. “Those colors just kind of draw the eye naturally.”

Experts note that wearing bright neon colors is especially important when the water is crowded. It makes it easier for parents to supervise their children and for lifeguards to spot someone if they do start to struggle.

ALIVE Solutions Inc. also tested swimsuit colors in a lake. In 18 inches of lake water, neon yellow, neon green, and neon orange were most visible. Every other color was essentially invisible under the water.

The test was conducted in just 18 inches of water, highlighting the fact that visibility in lakes is generally quite poor. The benefits of wearing a brightly colored life jacket were clear.

Read: Producer blog: Drowning can happen to even most careful families