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What is an attractive nuisance?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Blog

The phrase “attractive nuisance” may sound like an oxymoron. After all, it pairs a positive-sounding adjective with a negative noun. Even though the term itself is a little bit strange, it actually is a very adept way to describe what it is.

An attractive nuisance is something that attracts children to your property without your permission. According to FindLaw, attractive nuisances include swimming pools, treehouses and unsecured rooftops.

Uninvited children and trespassing

You might think that if a child comes onto your property without permission in pursuit of an attractive nuisance that the child is trespassing. In this case, you would be correct. However, the law sees children in a different light than it does adults. If an adult enters your swimming pool while being there without your permission and sustains an injury, the law would punish the adult swimmer as a trespasser and not hold you liable.

However, if a child injures him or herself in your swimming pool, it is possible that the court may find you liable for this. This applies even if the child was there without your prior knowledge or permission.

Managing attractive nuisances

You do not need to remove swimming pools, treehouses or other desirable items from your property to protect yourself against liability. Instead, invest in precautions. For instance, if you do have a swimming pool on your property, make sure to install a fence around it to prevent curious children from wandering into it.

Another thing that you can do is speak to the parents of the children. If you make it clear that the children cannot access the attractive nuisance without your permission (or at all), this helps lower your liability risk. Document everything you do.

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