- Nikki Scarnati is a mother and certified swim instructor.
- Her TikTok shows why parents shouldn’t buy blue swimwear for kids.
- According to Scarnati, orange, red, and neon colors are safer.
When Nikki Scarnati wanted her daughter to take swimming lessons, she couldn’t find local classes near her Florida home. So Scarnati took matters into her own hands, becoming a certified baby swimming instructor. During her training, she learned what she says is a well-known fact in the swimming safety industry: red swimsuits are more visible, while blue ones are more difficult to spot in an emergency.
“Don’t buy a blue swimsuit,” Scarnati said in a recent TikTok.
Scarnati told Insider that when she saw a blue swimsuit at the convention, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to show the diversity of the experience. Her 2-year-old son wore a swimsuit in the pool and easily blended into the background. This video was shared by parents.
“Sometimes seeing is believing,” he said.
Many lifeguards and swimming instructors know this
Most parents don’t think about the role of bath color in safety, Scarnati said, but business professionals are familiar with the difference in information.
“This is very good and accurate advice,” said Laurie Abplanalp, senior vice president of operations at Streamline Brands, a swim school. “Children should wear bright swimwear in the water that is easily seen by parents, caregivers, and lifeguards. When shopping for swimwear, avoid colors that can blend in with the water and choose swimwear with colors that stand out.”
Neon is the most popular, Scarnati said. After that, warm colors like purple, red, and orange are better than colors like blue and green. He said children can wear blue or green swimsuits while playing in the sprinkler or on a splash pad, and parents can remove them.
While swimwear can be a substitute, it is not a substitute for water safety
Parents should consider bath color because every area of protection is important when children are around the water, Scarnati said.
Maria Rezhylo, a former swimmer, swim coach, and owner of the Tampa-based swim school Swim Fast Academy, said the suit color is “a small detail.”
He pointed out that most deaths occur when parents or caregivers are nearby.
“No matter what color the clothes your child is wearing, if you’re not watching them carefully, you’re setting yourself up for trouble,” Rezhylo said. “Even if they take swimming lessons and wear floaties, you have to watch them all the time.”
Dakota Stern, a certified American lifeguard, has no substitute for water safety. Instead of focusing on pool colors, she wants parents to avoid crowded pools (where it’s difficult to focus on children) and teach children to swim first before relying on swimming equipment.
“The best way to protect your child isn’t by choosing a neon swimsuit — it’s by teaching your child to swim,” says Stern.
Swimmers or jumpers can give your child — and you — a false sense of security, which can be fatal in the worst case scenario, Stern says.
“As a lifeguard who has saved children from drowning in public and private pools, the most important thing I can do to keep children safe is to make a quick decision to abilities of each child and focus on non-swimming and inflatables.” said Stern.
Follow these tips to swim safely this summer
The experts Insider spoke with recommend staying active about water safety by following these tips:
- Teach your child to swim firstespecially if they often come into contact with water.
- Avoid full pools of water or beaches where it is difficult to watch your child.
- Do not allow non-swimmers to walk on their heads when they wear swimwear.
- Be very careful with inflatable floats. These children can become very dependent and interfere with your knowledge of the water.
- Consider clothing your child in colorful bathing suits.
“The more barriers you put between your child and a fatality event, the better,” Scarnati said.