The term “attractive nuisance” is not an oxymoron. Rather, it is a term for something on your property that may attract children. Specifically, the “something” is potentially dangerous to the child and may result in injury.
Dealing with child trespassers can be very frustrating, as the law sees them in a different light than adult trespassers. Even if a child is trespassing on your property at the time he or she sustains an injury on the attractive nuisance, it is possible that the law may hold you liable. According to FindLaw, you must recognize when something on your property is an attractive nuisance and take proper actions to protect yourself.
Identifying attractive nuisances
The quintessential example of an attractive nuisance is a swimming pool. A swimming pool is something that will certainly attract children looking to have fun, but may result in their injury or death. Other examples of attractive nuisances include animals on your property, certain kinds of landscaping, unattended ladders or broken gates.
What can I do about attractive nuisances?
The first thing is to ensure that you are in compliance with all local codes regulating attractive nuisances. For instance, it is very common for local laws to require swimming pool owners to install a fence around the pool.
If you discover that a child is interacting with an attractive nuisance on your property, make sure that you warn the child away. You may also wish to talk with the child’s parents if at all possible. It is legal (in most cases) to have an attractive nuisance on your property, but you must ensure that you take all proper steps to protect yourself against liability in the event of an accident involving child trespassers.