Warmer weather is finally here. Which means it's time to stock up on summer staples like sunblock, shorts, and bathing suits to enjoy some fun in the sun. You might find yourself shopping around for new swimsuits for kids if your child has outgrown theirs.
But did you know that swimsuit colors underwater show up differently? Some colors can show up nice and bright but others can blend in so you don't really know if what you're seeing is your child or just a shadow. And since color perception can change underwater, this information is important during an emergency when you need to locate your child in the water.
ALIVE Solutions Inc., an aquatic safety group, conducted a study where they tested different swimsuit colors underwater. They tested both lake water and pool water and their findings may surprise you. So, when you're buying a swimsuit for your child this summer, you might want to consider the color, in addition to the size and style.
The lake test
In the lake test, neon yellow, green, and orange fared the best. But the other colors? They practically disappeared.
"We placed each color on the surface (first row images), second row images were from shore level perspective, and third row are from a slightly elevated perspective — simulating standing on a boat/dock view," ALIVE Solutions said in its post.
The pool test
In the pool test, the team compared photos of the swimsuit underwater and what it looks like when the child is kicking or struggling.
Again, neon colors like pink, orange and yellow stood out.
Both tests, lake water and pool water, confirmed that neon colors were most visible under 18 inches of water. Which does seem to makes sense since neon colors are bright and easily visible under normal circumstances.
But you might be surprised at how the other colors fared.
"Our bottom two colors are white and light blue (check out how they disappear) and our top choices would be neon pink and neon orange," ALIVE Solutions explained. "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 so I tend to stay away from those colors when possible."
A Florida hospital observed a 600% increase in pediatric drownings in 2021, compared to the same time in 2020. Most cases involved children under three.
So, while the test results above show how important it is to keep everyone above the water, another thing to keep in mind is securing your child's lifejacket before they even get near the water.
"Also remember," the company added, "the bright and contrasting colors help visibility, but it doesn't matter what color your kids are wearing if you aren't supervising effectively and actively watching!"
Neon Swimsuits for Kids
A version of this post was published May 28, 2021. It has been updated.