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Summer Safety Tip: Neon Swimwear Enhances Kids' Visibility

Bright, contrasting swimsuits enhance visibility and reduce drowning risks

As families gear up for summer, the McKinney Fire Department shared an important safety tip regarding swimsuit color choices based on research by Natalie Livingston from Alive Solutions Inc

The Facebook post emphasized the significance of selecting bright and contrasting colors to ensure children remain visible while swimming. The post highlighted that neon pink and neon orange are optimal choices for enhancing visibility underwater while cautioning against darker colors that can blend into the environment.

When shopping for swimsuits, parents should consider not only style but also the safety implications. While vibrant colors and trendy patterns may catch the eye, recent research delves into the science behind swimwear color and its impact on water safety.

Since 2019, Livingston, a dedicated aquatic safety advocate and mother of two, has conducted experiments to investigate how swimsuit color affects underwater visibility. Her findings, shared on her website and social media platforms, provide valuable insights for making informed choices for children's swimwear.

Contrary to popular belief, not all colors are equally visible in water. Livingston's experiments revealed that neon hues such as pink, orange, yellow and green offer the highest level of visibility, particularly in environments with poor water clarity or darker bottoms. These bright colors starkly contrast against the backdrop, making swimmers more easily detectable.

Conversely, darker colors or those that blend into the environment pose a higher risk of being overlooked, increasing the potential for accidents, especially in crowded pools or natural bodies of water.

Beyond visibility, Livingston's research also explored the influence of swimsuit patterns on safety. While small patterns had minimal impact, large dark patterns were found to decrease visibility, highlighting the importance of opting for simple, brightly colored swimwear.

These findings underscore the critical role of color selection in enhancing water safety, prompting parents to prioritize visibility over fashion when choosing swimwear for their children. By opting for bright, contrasting colors, caregivers can help ensure that their little ones remain visible and safe while enjoying aquatic activities.

Livingston's advocacy extends beyond research. She shares practical water safety tips to empower parents to make informed decisions. From conducting safety briefings before swimming to promoting constant supervision and using USCG-approved life jackets, her insights serve as a comprehensive guide for families navigating water-related activities.

To learn more about Alive Solutions and Livingston's research, click here. 

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