Choosing Safe Swimsuit Colors & Other Ways to Keep Your Child Safe In the Water

Swim safety precautions like choosing safe swimsuit colors might seem trivial, but in fact, thorough measures like these are crucial to keeping our children safe in the water—especially when you consider the prevalence of drowning accidents here in the treasure valley. Idaho has the fifth highest drowning rate in the country.

While nothing surpasses the importance of water competency and swimming skills, additional precautions like choosing safe swimsuit colors can make all the difference in emergency situations—especially while children are still learning to become competent swimmers.

As we prioritize building strong swimming skills, these precautions act as valuable layers of protection, ensuring that learning to swim is both effective and safe for young learners.

Choosing Safe Swimsuit Colors for Children

When it comes to keeping your child safe in the water, every precaution counts. One effective measure is choosing safe swimsuit colors that enhance visibility. Bright and easily noticeable colors can make it easier for you, a lifeguard, swim instructor, or fellow swimmers to keep an eye on your child.

What Color Swimsuits Are Safest?

Safe swimsuit colors are those that stand out against the water, making it easier to spot your child at or below the surface. For choosing safe swimsuit colors, experts recommend bright neon or fluorescent colors. These hues not only catch the eye but also stand out against the various colors of water, whereas other colors tend to blend in.

In a study conducted by ALIVE Solutions to inform the process of choosing safe swimsuit colors, neon orange showed the best visibility across the board.

What Are the Best Colors to Wear in a Swimming Pool?

While a swimming pool is typically more forgiving in terms of visibility, certain colors can still be very difficult to see, especially under certain lighting conditions. In the same test for choosing safe swimsuit colors, they found that white and dark-colored swimsuits tend to disappear in pools with a dark bottom. Conversely, they found that neon yellow, green, and orange were the most easily visible.


Similarly, in swimming pools with a white bottom, white and light blue were most difficult to see, while neon pink and neon orange were the easiest to see.

What Is the Best Color for Underwater Visibility in Open Water?

Choosing safe swimsuit colors is especially important for open water swimming. Not only is the overall visibility less in open water, but the safety risks tend to be higher as well. In open water, ALIVE’s test showed that neon yellow, green, and orange were the best choices in open water, like lakes, with most other colors disappearing under only 18 inches of water.

Choosing the Right Safety Swim Gear for Children

When it comes to your child’s swim gear, it’s not just choosing safe swimsuit colors but also safe swim gear. Choosing the right swim gear isn’t just about emergency preparation, but when your child is still learning to swim, which swim gear you choose can have a big impact on the relationship they develop with the water. 

Flotation Device Types: Swim Vest vs Life Jacket vs Puddle Jumpers

The Difference Between Life Jacket and Life Vest

Not all personal flotation devices offer real safety for your child, so it’s important to understand the difference between life jacket and life vest and puddle jumper. Life jackets are specifically designed to keep the wearer’s head above water in the case of an emergency when boating, rafting, or engaging in any water sport. They are required by law when using a personal watercraft.

Not considered a proper flotation device by the Coast Guard, swim vests are less bulky, lighter weight swim aids that zip in the front. They offer less buoyancy protection and are designed specifically for children to wear in mellow waters. Puddle jumpers are inflatable cuffs for the arms that buckle behind the back and provide a buoyancy boost to very young swimmers, making them feel more confident; they do not keep the child afloat.

When Should Kids Wear Floating Gear?

Life jackets should always be worn during boating, river rafting, and other water sports that take place in open water. However, flotation devices should not be worn for everyday use in the pool, whether for lessons or play. Flotation devices are not a replacement for supervision, and in fact, they can harm the child’s development of water competency.

Why Are Puddle Jumpers Bad?

We strongly urge parents to avoid the use of both puddle jumpers and life vests. These flotation devices do not provide sufficient drowning protection, but they do teach children unsafe swim practices, as well as give parents a false sense of security that can lead to less engaged supervision.

For young children who are just learning to swim, puddle jumpers and life vests create a false sense of security. When the child wears this for swimming in mellow water, they learn to trust the buoyancy of the gear, rather than their own ability to swim.

This false confidence might encourage them to swim out past the pool safety rope where, if the gear slips off or if they tire and cannot keep themselves afloat, they will be left insufficiently assisted. It may also encourage children to jump in the water without any gear before they’re ready.

Additionally, neither puddle jumpers nor life vests help children become good swimmers, as they encourage incorrect swim posture. By putting the child in a vertical position—head up, arms out, feet down—they encourage a bicycling motion, which is a dangerously ineffective swimming technique.

Other Swimming Safety Tips for Parents

While choosing safe swimsuit colors is an excellent precaution to take, it is just one of many that are crucial to water safety. In addition to properly gearing up, here are some other important practices to keep in mind.

There’s No Replacement for Supervision

It bears repeating that there is no replacement for supervision when your child is learning to swim. Choosing safe swimsuit colors and using the correct gear should not become crutches that allow adults to pay less attention. Whether your child is in a pool, lake, river, or engaged in boating or swimming activities, keeping a close eye is crucial.

Ensure the Water is Safe

The safety of the water itself is an important consideration no matter where you’re swimming. Especially in ponds and lakes near Boise where dangerous levels of bacteria are frequent, it’s important to check for “No Swim” signs—even at your regular spots. Bacteria come and go with certain environmental and biological conditions, and the safety of water can change quickly.

If you’re looking for places to swim in Boise Idaho, check in with Boise’s Parks and Recreation and Public Works Departments. They conduct water quality tests weekly to monitor bacteria levels from April through September, and they will post warning signs around the water.

While lakes and ponds are the more common concern, it’s important to gauge pool water safety in Boise swimming pools as well. Too little chlorine can lead to unhealthy bacteria growth, and too much chlorine can cause skin irritation and more serious effects with long-term exposure.

Understand the Drowning Response & Signs of Drowning

While choosing safe swimsuit colors will help you spot your child in danger, it’s not the only thing you need to look for. Learn how to recognize the instinctive drowning response—understanding these involuntary movements will help you quickly locate and respond when someone is drowning.

Of course, it’s also crucial that you know not just when but how to respond. Know the safety essentials for helping others, like the principle of “reach or throw, don’t go.” Additionally, knowing CPR and first aid can be invaluable in emergency situations.

The terms dry drowning and secondary drowning are not accepted by all medical professionals, but they refer to the inhalation of water into the airway or lungs, blocking airflow or causing pulmonary edema. These are both real possibilities, however they are very rare. Still, it’s helpful to know the signs of silent drowning. While dry drowning is immediate, secondary drowning can take effect up to 24 hours later. The most common symptoms in both cases are Trouble breathing, or shortness of breath.

  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting

Choosing Swim Lessons – Boise ID

While choosing safe swimsuit colors and other drowning prevention efforts are a vital aspect of water safety, providing your child with the necessary skills to navigate the water is the most important and effective means of drowning prevention.

Swim lessons are the best way to help your child develop the complete set of skills and proper techniques necessary for water safety and to empower your children to enjoy water activities now and throughout their lives.

At H2FLOW, we offer Boise swimming lessons that prioritize water safety through and cater to all age groups and skill levels. Whether private lesson or group class, our lessons aim to instill comfort and confidence, promote safety, and foster a love for swimming at every age.

For infants, we focus on creating a positive water association through gentle, comfort-building activities. Basic swim lessons for ages 3–12 progress based on skill until stroke school when students begin refining swimming techniques and building endurance.

Choosing safe swimsuit colors may seem small, but every small effort counts in the effort to prevent drowning and keep kids safe. And by enrolling your child in swim lessons, you’re not just helping them learn to swim—you’re ensuring a lasting, safe, and positive relationship with the water.