Now that summer is just around the corner, you might be ready for your children to get outside and enjoy some free time and sunshine without the restrictions of school. You live in a safe Ohio neighborhood, you reason, and time spent outdoors is much better than staying in the house on their devices. However, you might want to consider the possibility of attractive nuisances in your neighborhood, as well as how to protect your kids from them.
An attractive nuisance is an object or feature on someone’s property that can be dangerous as well as enticing to children. Property owners who have attractive nuisances should be aware that the items on their grounds may lure curious children over, and they should also understand that they have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to discourage children from trespassing and getting hurt.
The most well-known attractive nuisance is a swimming pool. On a hot summer’s day, it would not be surprising for children to try popping into a neighbor’s yard for a swim while the homeowner is at work or away on vacation. As you can imagine, an unauthorized swim can be disastrous for children without adult supervision. Other attractive nuisances may include the following:
- A guard dog kept in a dog run at the side of the yard, which children assume they can pet
- A deep irrigation ditch running through a back field
- Power tools, a riding lawnmower and other heavy equipment left out in the open
- An open well or refuse pit
Homeowners who have attractive nuisances should take such steps to protect children as installing fences with locked gates around swimming pools, canals and other water features; putting up signs warning about aggressive canines; and storing power tools and equipment inside a locked shed. Someone who has knowingly failed to safeguard his or her property may be held liable for your child’s injuries.