How to Choose a High Visibility Vest for a Child

by Brian French on Jul 17, 2023

How to Choose a High Visibility Vest for a Child

When buying a high visibility vest for children, there are several key factors to consider:

Visibility and Reflectivity:
If anything is going to help save a life it is going to be the visibility of the vest. A motorist needs to have a bright visual cue that there are many small people in the area.

If a vest gets dull after repeated washing or if the embedded reflective beads are washed out of the reflective tape the cue may be missed. There is a chance the motorist will react too slowly. Avoiding a tragedy is the top priority.

Ensure that the vest has high visibility properties, such as bright fluorescent colours (usually yellow or orange have the best visibility due to the wavelength of the colour) that stand out in various lighting conditions. Additionally, look for reflective strips or tape that enhance visibility at night or in low-light environments.

Reflective strips that wrap around the body give a better chance of being seen from any angle.

Compliance with Standards:
A lot of work has gone into developing standards that are useful and effective. You get the benefit when a vest complies with these standards. Check if the vest meets recognized safety standards, such as ANSI/ISEA 107 in the United States or EN ISO 20471 in Europe. These standards ensure that the vest has undergone testing and meets specific requirements for visibility and performance.

All our products conform with American and Australian standards including the new Hi Vis Safety Garment Standard AS/NZS 4602.1:2011 and AS/NZS 1906.4:2010 USA TSV-001-1/TSV-001-2, TSV-002-01/TSV-002-2 Class 2

Fit and Comfort:
Getting kids to put on a high visibility vest can feel like wrestling with an octopus, so you need to make things as easy as possible. The vest should fit properly and comfortably.

Look for adjustable features like straps or elastic sides that allow for a snug fit without restricting movement. Consider the size and weight of the vest, as it should be lightweight and breathable to avoid discomfort during extended wear.

Our solution is to recommend a bigger size so it easily fits over winter or bulky clothing and recommend a bib vest for the smaller ages. The bib vest is easier to put over the heads of small children as the sides are open.

Durability and Quality:
Children are not gentle with the objects they handle, and during the life of a vest it will be dropped, thrown, stepped on and generally handled roughly. If the fabric is flimsy and the stitching poor the poor quality will show after a few years.

Assess the quality and durability of the vest. Look for reinforced stitching and sturdy materials that can withstand daily use and exposure to the elements. A high-quality vest will last longer and provide better value for money.

A school will wash their vests only a few times a year as needed. We have some printed vests being tested for quality that are being washed weekly and have withstood the equivalent of decades of normal washing.

Design and Functionality:
The second most significant use of the vest, after it’s visibility properties, is putting it on and taking it off the child. A loose fit will make it easier for the teacher to get them prepared but being too loose will hinder movement and frustrate the child. Large arm openings and Velcro fastenings that will tear apart in an emergency also help.

Consider the design and functionality features that meet your specific needs. Some vests may include pockets for storage, identification badges, or additional safety features like breakaway designs for use in potentially hazardous environments.

If your school uses a tracking device to assist the teacher, then a small pocket can be added with a Velcro closure to secure the tracker.

Size Range:
Ensure that the vest comes in a size range suitable for the intended users. Check the available sizes and consider whether the vest will fit comfortably over clothing or uniforms.

We have a range from the very young through to adult sizes so you can get all your vests from one place.

Compare prices from different sellers or brands, keeping in mind that the cheapest option may not always provide the best quality or meet the necessary standards. Consider the overall value and balance it with the desired features and quality.

Sometimes the side affects of a cheaper product may only be noticeable years down the track. By the time you notice stitching that fails, colours that fade, reflective tape that breaks up, you may have no recourse to the supplier.


By considering these key factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a high visibility vest that provides optimal visibility, comfort, durability, and functionality for your specific requirements.