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Here's why the color of your child's swimsuit could save their life

Experts say in addition to proper swim training and supervision while in the water, swimsuit color can add to your child's safety.
Kid Swimming
Posted at 12:28 PM, Jun 10, 2024

With the summer months now upon us, officials are reminding families about the importance of water safety. And something as simple as the color of your child's swimsuit could be life-saving.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 5-14 — and the numbers are rising.

A swimming pool

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The latest federal data showsthere were more than 4,500 unintentional drowning deaths annually between 2020 and 2022 — an increase of 500 per year since 2019.

Experts and swim instructors agree the pandemic had an effect on the number of deaths as people were unable to send their kids to swim lessons. But experts say in addition to proper swim training and supervision while in the water, swimsuit color can add to your child's safety.

An analysis from Akron Children's Hospital and Alive Solutions shows how choosing a brightly colored swimsuit can help you spot your kids quickly and save their life if they need help. Photos of different swimsuits underwater shows bright colors such as orange, yellow, and red can be seen most easily when submerged 18 inches, but other colors like white and blue are difficult to spot since they blend in with the color of the water.

Once you agitate the water to mimic kids playing, it can make some of the swimsuits nearly invisible.

This photo provided by Alive Solutions shows how different colored swimsuits appear in a pool of water.
This photo provided by Alive Solutions shows how different colored swimsuits appear in a pool of water.

When it comes to natural pools of water like lakes and ponds, the results are even murkier.

This photo provided by Alive Solutions shows how different colored swimsuits appear in a lake.
This photo provided by Alive Solutions shows how different colored swimsuits appear in a lake.

According to Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, a child can drown in as little as 20 seconds — about the same amount of time it takes to get up and get a towel. It is why experts say keeping a close eye on your child whenever they are in the water is critical, and picking a swimsuit color that makes them the most visible to you only helps with keeping them safe.

@scrippsnews Before buying your child’s next #swimsuit consider this: the colors they wear could save their life. A water safety company conducted multiple experiments and found the most vivid colors you can see underwater in a pool and a lake. #summer #news #safetyfirst ♬ original sound - Scripps News