What is an attractive nuisance?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2022 | Premises Liability |

The law sees children in a different light than adults. While children can still be trespassers, you have a special duty of care toward them. This means that you must ensure that your property is safe for children, even in the event that you did not specifically invite them to your property.

One thing you must guard against is attractive nuisances. Otherwise, it is possible that somebody may sue you for premises liability. According to FindLaw, an attractive nuisance is something that may attract children to your property, but also harm them.

What constitutes an attractive nuisance?

Not everything that is potentially dangerous on your property is an attractive nuisance. For instance, if there are acorns scattered on your property and a child swallows one, it is not likely the law will find you liable. Trees are also not attractive nuisances, and neither are hills, ponds or lakes.

The quintessential attractive nuisance is a swimming pool. Swimming pools can attract children, but also harm them. You have a reasonable duty of care to prevent children from harming themselves in a swimming pool, even if they are trespassing.

How can I protect myself?

The best thing to do is make sure that you are in compliance with any local regulations regarding attractive nuisances. For example, most jurisdictions will require that you install a fence around any swimming pool in an attempt to keep children out.

It is, of course, fine to have a swimming pool on your property. But you will want to do everything in your power to ensure that it is difficult for children to access it unsupervised. Doing so not only may protect you from liability, but it also protects local children from harm.