Just as dressing your child in vibrant colors makes them easier to spot in a crowd, the same goes for underwater. May is National Water Safety Month and water is around us all year in Florida, so it is important to know the risks and what small steps can help protect your child.
ALIVE Solutions Inc. conducted a study to see how colors impacted visibility in the water. They took swimsuits of different colors and submerged them in both a pool and lake to test which colors were easiest to spot underwater.
In the lake (photo left), they placed the swimsuits in 18 inches of water from different perspectives including the position of a parent sitting on the dock. You can see the best visibility colors are neon yellow, neon green, and neon orange. Keep in mind environmental factors could change the impact as well, such as water clarity, lighting, current, and the weather in general.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4. It is quick, silent, and can happen to anyone, even good swimmers.
For the pool, ALIVE Solutions Inc. tested visibility in both still and moving water and found that bright, contrasting colors have the most visibility. White and light blue had the worst visibility, and neon pink and neon orange stood out the best against the blue water. Darker colors do show up on a light pool bottom, however, they are often overlooked as a pile of leaves, dirt, or a shadow research shows.
To recap, here are some things to keep in mind when shopping and selecting what to have your child wear. This is also a great topic to talk to them about so they learn these from an early age and can help keep themselves safer in and around water.
- drowning can occur in any body of water including the bathtub, in as little as 2 inches of water
- always designate a water watcher that should avoid all distractions, and focus fully on scanning the pool. This is great for adults to take shifts doing. Pick up a “water watcher” badge at our front desk any time.
- get CPR certified for anyone caring for children
- enroll your child in year-round swim lessons helping them build muscle memory in case of an aquatic accident
- keep toys and things that can fall into the pool that a child may try to reach for away from the pool
- install barriers, pool gates, alarms, locks, etc to all areas with water access
- keep furniture and things children can climb on away from pool barriers to prevent them from climbing on top over and getting over the fence