Like other responsible parents in North Carolina, you may have taught your children not to go onto others’ property without permission. However, as you may be aware, children do not always follow the rules, especially if they are younger or are influenced by their friends. Attractive nuisance law exists to protect children who may wander onto others’ property and get hurt.
FindLaw explains that an attractive nuisance is something on someone’s property that may be dangerous, yet can entice curious children. For example, your neighbor may have a backyard pond or swimming pool, which, as you can imagine, may be irresistible to children during the hot summer months. As such, property owners are required to take reasonable measures to discourage or prevent children from accessing an attractive nuisance on their property. These safeguards may include the following:
- Installing a high, locked fence around a yard that contains a pool or pond
- Putting up warning signs about an aggressive dog in the yard or keeping the dog inside the home
- Locking a shed containing power tools and other dangerous equipment
- Not keeping the keys to a riding lawnmower in the ignition
You may reduce the risk of your children being injured by teaching them about trespassing and enforcing consequences for breaking the rules, but you cannot always predict their behavior. Your neighbor may be held responsible if he or she failed to protect neighborhood children from a dangerous feature by restricting access to the property. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.