Swimwear and Visibility Safety

photo of an apparently empty pool with a hidden swimmer

Can you spot the child in the above photo?

(Picture: CPR Kids/Facebook)


It’s not something we often think about, but certain swimwear colours should be avoided for safety reasons.

Images such as the above demonstrate the importance of swimwear colour and why it is best to choose brighter colours, particularly for children.

While at first glance the image appears to be of an empty pool there is, in fact, a child swimming under the water.

This frightening image shows just how easily a child can disappear from view in a certain situation if not wearing appropriate-coloured swimwear.

The child was wearing light blue shorts and is practically impossible to see if you didn't know he was there:

Image of invisible swimmer underwater    invisible swimmer identified

Swimwear that is pale or light blue should be avoided, as it can reduce visibility of the wearer while under water.

Always select brightly coloured swimwear where possible. This is especially important for children under adult supervision.

Additionally, the water in the image above had been made cloudy from sunscreen, which further reduced visibility.

Other factors that can reduce visibility, and your ability to actively supervise children in the water, include:



Light shining on the water surface can make it impossible to see what is underneath the patch of glare. If supervising the pool, move yourself to a position that removes the glare.


Shaded areas over the water can form black or dark spots of water. As with too much light causing glare, move your position to prevent shaded areas impacting your ability to see. You may need to keep moving around the pool to avoid patches of shade or glare.


This refers to physical objects blocking your view of someone in the pool. If you can’t see past an object (or person!), move to another position where you can. You need to have an unobstructed view of the pool to be able to supervise effectively.


This is not so much about visibility but remembering to stay focused when in an active supervision role. It is very easy to become distracted chatting to someone else, looking at your phone, or just mentally ‘zoning out’. Remove as many potential distractions from yourself as you can and keep your mind focused on everyone in the pool. If your mind keeps wandering, tag out with someone else to supervise for a while until you feel more alert.

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