As summer approaches, parents start shopping for swimsuits for kids. However, one swim instructor went on Tiktok to educate parents about water safety and warn them against buying blue swimsuits for children.
Certified ISR (infant swimming resource) instructor and a mom of two, Nikki Scarnati, demonstrated how difficult the color is to spot underwater.
“This is not a regular bathing suit my daughter wears on a regular basis. I bought it on clearance specifically for this example for parents who wanted to learn,” Scarnati began. In the video, she had her daughter wear a blue bathing suit while in the swimming pool.
“Look how difficult it is to see her under the water, and this is in calm water,” She continued as her daughter, Claire, treads in the pool. “This is not with a whole bunch of other kids playing and splashing around and having a good time.”
Drowning is the primary cause of injury-related death among kids aged 1 to 4 years old and is the third most frequent cause of accidental injury-related fatalities for children 19 and under.
“Even look in the sunlight, look at how difficult it is to see her with that bathing suit on because it’s the same color as our environment,” The 32-year-old mom transitions the video to her daughter swimming in the pool under the sun. “So, do not buy blue bathing suit guys. Don’t buy blue bathing suits.”
Scarnati also added in the caption, “Just buy bright ones!” and people in the comments also shared their sentiments about water safety.
“I’m a former lifeguard, and this is absolutely right! Any shade of blue is difficult to see, and so is any pastel light color in general,” someone wrote.
Other parents also shared their own tips. One mentioned using blue bathing suits for “sprinkler time” and bright colors for the pool. Another mom stated, “Only bright orange and pink for us.”
The Importance of Water Safety for Kids
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance recommends the Five Layers of Protection for parents and guardians to prevent drowning and other water-related injuries.
Barriers and Alarms
Installing fences with self-closing and self-latching gates can help restrict kids from accessing your pool. According to the Alliance, pool fencing should be at a minimum of 48”-60” above grade, depending on your local municipality requirements.
Covering your pools and adding safety alarm systems can also prevent your kids from unauthorized access.
“We can’t drown-proof kids, so it’s important to make sure that there is fencing and other barriers around water to make sure children can’t get into water when unsupervised,” said pediatrician Dr. Sarah Denny, lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance on “Prevention of Drowning.”
Children in water should always be supervised, and parents should always stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings and everything else that’s happening in the water. There should always be a designated and active adult to supervise kids during pool time.
The Alliance also reminds parents that “flotation devices are not a substitute for active supervision.”
Both kids and supervising adults should know and equip themselves of basic water safety skills to prevent drowning and other water-related injuries. Parents can look for qualified and certified swim instructors to teach kids more about water safety.
The AAP encourages kids to learn swimming as early as the age of 1. Children between 1-4 years old can reduce their risk of drowning by 88% when they take up formal swimming lessons.
Wearing life jackets is important especially when around natural bodies of water or during boat rides and other boating activities. Life jackets should be a US Coast Guard approved one, which means it was tested and satisfied industry standards.
However, life jackets should not make parents complacent about their child’s safety as it is not a substitute for supervision nor teaches children water competency skills.
The Alliance states that “knowing how to prepare for a water-related incident can mean the difference between life and death.”
They recommend keeping a phone by the poolside and in reach in case of any emergencies, so adults can easily call the emergency hotline. It is also recommended to have CPR training, with frequent refreshers, especially if you have a pool at home or frequent around water.
Swimming pools should always have emergency kits and rescue equipment at hand.
The AAP also states that some of the most significant drowning hazards for toddlers can be found at home, such as bathtubs, buckets of water, and even toilets. Practice water safety at home by making sure that your buckets at home are empty and always keeping your bathroom door closed to prevent any accidents.
Parents and guardians should always stay vigilant and never leave children unattended near water to prevent any tragedy from occurring.