What do homeowners and parents need to know about attractive nuisances?
Some dangerous features on a person’s property may be too enticing for children to resist. Homeowners should understand attractive nuisance law.
Most parents go to great lengths to protect their children from injury. Their efforts may involve childproofing their homes, using the latest safety devices and teaching them about the various dangers they can encounter at home, at school and in their neighborhoods. Parents in Ohio and Kentucky should also understand that their neighbors are responsible for safeguarding features on their property that can potentially endanger local children.
An item or feature on a residential property that can be dangerous to children is known as an attractive nuisance. This name comes from the nature of some hazardous features being attractive to children, as well as the fact that children may not always follow the rules, especially if they are curious or influenced by their friends. Therefore, trespassing laws might not apply to younger children as they would to teenagers and young adults who would know better than to go on someone’s property without permission.
The danger of swimming pools
A backyard swimming pool is perhaps the most common example of an attractive nuisance. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in the summer of 2017, at least 163 children under the age of 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas across the country. Ohio had one of the highest numbers of child drownings, with seven children fatally drowning during that time.
Despite the dangers, children may be enticed to enter a neighbor’s property to swim without permission while the homeowner is away. Therefore, homeowners with pools and other hazardous features are required to take reasonable measures to make these features unavailable to neighborhood children.
Steps to restrict access to attractive nuisances
There are numerous methods a homeowner may utilize to safeguard an attractive nuisance. Some examples include the following:
· Installing a fence around a swimming pool, hot tub or pond
· Putting away the keys to a riding lawnmower
· Locking a garage or storage shed that contains power tools and other dangerous equipment
· Keeping the property free of debris and equipment that may injure children
· Supervising a potentially aggressive dog while it is out in the yard
Parents can teach their children the importance of never going onto someone else’s property without permission or supervision. However, it is not always possible to predict whether a child will obey the rules. A negligent property owner may be held responsible for injuries to a child if he or she failed to observe attractive nuisance laws and did not safeguard a hazardous feature. Parents in Ohio and Kentucky may wish to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if they may be eligible for compensation.