What color is your child’s swimsuit? Water Safety Group Names Best, Worst Options Before Memorial Day


(NEXSTAR) – The color of your child’s swimsuit may be more important than you think.

The results of a recent study indicate that brighter neon swimsuits are most easily seen when submerged below the surface of swimming pools or in open water. The results also came just before Memorial Day weekend, when families across the country can take their little ones to the water.

Alive Solutions, Inc., a water safety education and consulting company, performed a series of tests with more than a dozen swimsuit colors to arrive at their results.

In one of the first tests, 14 different combinations of different colors were immersed in a swimming pool with a light colored (white) background, both with and without surface agitation of the water. The most visible swimsuits, observed by Alive Solutions, were those in neon pink and neon orange. Swimsuits in white and light blue were found to be the least visible because they “disappear” underwater. Darker colors were also a poor choice as they can “often be dismissed for a pile of leaves, dirt or a shadow” at the bottom of the pool, determined Alive Solutions.

(Alive Solutions, Inc.)

Another test was performed in a dark bottom pool, with similar results: neon green, yellow, and orange were determined to be the most visible. Darker colors like black, gray, and dark green looked even darker below the surface, and the white swimsuit looked blue enough to blend in too much with the water.

The same test was repeated on a partially sunny day by a lake, with different colored swimsuits seen on the surface and also under 18 inches of water, the latter from two different angles. Neon green, yellow and orange were the best choices, followed by white, but “all the other colors were gone so quickly,” Alive Solutions found.

(Alive Solutions, Inc.)

In all three tests, Alive Solutions agreed that “bright and contrasting” colors were the best options for increasing visibility. But the group warned that it takes more than the right swimsuit to keep a child safe.

“Also remember that bright, contrasting colors help visibility, but it doesn’t matter what color your kids are wearing if you’re not effectively supervising and actively watching,” the group said in an April blog post.

Natalie Livingston and Ashley Wolfe, the co-founders of Alive Solutions, have nearly four decades of collective experience in the aquatic industry, both having worked in safety consulting and accident investigation.

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