Following up on the previous post, “What are typical attractive nuisances?” dated Aug. 20, 2021, what should property owners do to protect neighborhood children from injuries caused by attractive nuisances? Property owners in Delaware can be held liable if they fail to safeguard features that could entice children to enter their property.
Features that are particularly attractive to children include swimming pools, trampolines, machinery, tunnels and more. Property owners typically benefit by taking the necessary precautions, following the local laws and using good judgment.
Although property owners are not expected to childproof their property, they must take certain precautions. Property owners who face premises liability lawsuits will want to show the court what steps were taken to prevent injury. For example, a swimming pool owner could offer evidence of the following:
- Installing a fence with a secure gate around the pool
- Installing flood lights around the pool.
- Installing an alarm to warn of unauthorized entry into the pool area
- Limiting slip hazards
- Easy access to water rescue equipment
- Availability of a first-aid kit
- Safely stored pool chemicals
Following the laws
Becoming familiar with local laws relative to attractive nuisance liability is crucial. In the event of a lawsuit, the property owner may need to document compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Sound judgment and common sense go together. Property owners who keep a lookout for what piques the interest of children as they pass the property can take steps to avoid access by installing fencing or using locks and/or storage facilities. Warning the children and their parents might be wise. Although warning signs might help, those in most danger might not be able to read yet.
Delaware parents who can show that a property owner’s negligence was responsible for their children suffering injuries might have grounds to file premises liability lawsuits under attractive nuisance laws. If successful, a monetary judgment might cover medical expenses and other damages, and the property owner will also likely take the necessary steps to prevent similar events in the future.