What color is best for swimming?
Look at this color visibility test before you buy a kid's swimsuit
The color of a child's swimsuit could save their life.
Is the color of your child's swimsuit safe? If you're like many parents, you probably choose your children's swimsuits based on style, price, and cut. However, a new study suggests that color is the most important factor. It could make a big difference in preventing drowning accidents.
In a recent study, ALIVE Solutions Inc, a company specializing in water safety, put swimsuit colors to the test to determine their visibility in swimming pools and open water.
In swimming pools, the top photo of each section is the fabric underwater and the bottom photo is the fabric with movement on the surface.
According to experts, swimsuits in bright colors like neon orange can make a difference in how quickly an adult or lifeguard can see a child fidgeting in the water.
Children wearing bright, fluorescent colors are much easier to spot." "However, lifeguard training at most water parks teaches the 10/20 rule - roughly, 10 seconds to thoroughly search the area and 20 seconds to reach the person in distress - so even a child wearing these harder-to-see colors should be spotted by a good lifeguard."
Even veteran parents reported finding the results helpful.
"The way I look at things is that if you go to a crowded place, you try to dress your kids in something bright so you can see them quickly. It's the same way in the water," Mary O'Donoghue, senior director of water activities at the YMCA Greater New York, tells Parentology. "The lighter colors are quicker to see in the water, especially when bobbing up and down. Darker colors tend to be less visible."
The safest colors for swimwear in open water
ALIVE Solutions conducted the third test at a lake on a partly sunny day. Three pictures were taken of each swimsuit: one at the surface and two different angles of the swimsuits at a depth of 18 inches underwater. As can be seen in the pictures, neon green, yellow and orange colors are the most visible. All other swimsuits seem to disappear underwater, including neon pink ones.
"I was surprised at how quickly everything disappeared. I wanted to test them in two and a half feet of water, but we couldn't even get 18 inches,"
Style versus safety
It can be difficult to find a simple, colorful swimsuit in a child's size. It can be hard to say no to the white ruffle swimsuit for your child. And convincing your teen not to wear the blue tankini she loves so much can be impossible.
No problem."You just want to create contrast with the background you're swimming in," Livingston says. "The more colors in a pattern, the better. For example, in a pink polka dot pattern, the dominant color should be bright."
And if you can't find a colorful swimsuit or persuade your child to wear one, opt for a fluorescent sunscreen.
For her kids, Livingston says it's always a struggle between fashion and functionality. "They can still wear any cute piece of clothing they want, but they're wearing brightly colored sunscreen," she says.
Swimsuit color alone isn't enough
Bright, contrasting colors improve visibility, but as Livingston says in a blog post, "It doesn't matter what color your kids are if you're not effectively and actively supervising them."
What Parents Need To Know To Reduce The Risk Of Drowning