An alarming statistic shows that drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 1-14 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an extensive study performed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that “75 percent of the children involved in swimming pool submersion or drowning accidents were between 1 and 3 years old.”
It is no surprise that The American Society for Testing and Materials [ASTM] F1346-91 (1996) standard requires that a pool cover hold a minimum of 485 pounds per five square feet to qualify as a safety pool cover.
Safety pool covers usually come in two varieties: Mesh & Solid. Both types of safety covers are anchored to a deck with straps that pull the cover taut over the pool; the straps usually attach to stainless steel springs and are anchored to recessed brackets in a deck surface.
Mesh safety pool covers are designed for long-term use, such as when closing a pool for winter. Mesh safety pool covers require little maintenance because debris that lands on them blows off the top, and rain and snow drain through the mesh panels; however, with the screen-like material of mesh, some silt and dirt may get through the webbing. On the other hand, because puddles cannot accumulate on the surface, having a mesh-style safety pool cover eliminates the risk of toddlers or pets unexpectedly coming in contact with shallow water.
Solid safety pool coverswork similarly to mesh covers in that they can be secured to a deck by anchors. Solid safety pool covers may not be best for use in areas that receive heavy rain or snowfall. Unlike mesh covers that allow water to drain through the cover, precipitation can accumulate on a solid cover, creating a puddle of water over the pool. The collected water may tend to sag the cover and present a hazard to any small children or pets who, if unsupervised, wander onto to pool cover. To combat this problem, some manufacturers incorporate drain panels into solid vinyl covers.