Charles Baisden

You may have heard this term before, but what is an ‘attractive nuisance’, and why should you care? An attractive nuisance can be any object or condition that may attract children onto your property. This could include a swimming pool, trampoline, abandoned vehicles on the lot, etc. 

The attractive nuisance doctrine states that if a child gets injured while in your yard due to an attractive nuisance, you are liable for damages caused by it.

Examples of Attractive Nuisances

There are many examples of attractive nuisances that can cause harm to your children and loss of income.

Swimming Pools/Spas

Swimming pools are hazardous for young children because they cannot see the dangers beneath the water’s surface, which include stinging insects or animals, sprains and fractures from diving into shallow waters. Worse yet, children may also fall or walk into a pool without knowing how to swim properly, resulting in them drowning.

Swimming pools are fun for teenagers and are an excellent way to cool off during the summer heat, but you should never leave your children unattended while swimming in your pool or by your pool. Take your eyes off them for just a second, and they could get into trouble.


Trampolines are a fun way to exercise during the summer, but they have been known to cause injury. Many trampoline injuries involve sprains and fractures from landing improperly on the springs or frame of the trampoline. Children may also hit their heads on the trampoline frame, resulting in concussions and even brain damage.This makes trampolines an attractive nuisance. Before getting one for your yard, you should look into the connection between trampolines and insurance rates.

Abandoned Vehicles/Machinery

These objects can attract children because they tend to look fun or are fun to explore. Children may not realize that they are dangerous and could result in injuries such as cuts, bruises or fractures. The problem with these kinds of nuisances is they can attract animals such as snakes and rodents, which may cause injury to your children.

Other Examples of Attractive Nuisances

There are many other examples of attractive nuisances that can cause harm to your children and loss of income. They include abandoned refrigerators, piles of wood or concrete, construction sites or broken down houses.

Preventing Attractive Nuisances

There are several ways you can prevent attractive nuisances from costing you money.

Get Rid of It!

The easiest way to prevent an attractive nuisance from causing harm is just to get rid of it. Don’t keep that pile of wood in your yard, sell the trampoline you don’t use anymore, or move out of the house that has been abandoned.

If you are selling your home, make sure to notice the property’s condition on the listing. This will help protect you from an attractive nuisance lawsuit that could result in a settlement against you or pay-out by your insurance company.

If there is no emotional attachment involved, this is the best option because it’s the only way to ensure security on your property ultimately.

Establish a Security Perimeter

If you have fences, gates or locks on your property, then it will be more difficult for a child to enter the area that contains an attractive nuisance. A pool can be covered by a pool safety cover that can prevent the chances of children entering it.

If you do not have a security perimeter set up or the dangerous object is already in place, it’s good to warn people of its presence. You can use signs, fences or gates on your property and post “No Trespassing” signs around the area so adults will be aware of the danger when allowing their children to play.

Keep it Upright and Out of the Way

If you can’t get rid of the attractive nuisance, then one way to keep a child from being injured by them is to secure them properly. An old refrigerator that falls over could result in multiple fractures for a child who walks into it, so make sure it stays upright. If your fence or gate has fallen over then, you might want to consider getting it fixed immediately before a child climbs the fence and gets injured.

Expand Your Insurance Coverage

If your attractive nuisance is useful to you or your family, you may not want to get rid of it. A swimming pool or trampoline could be the highlight of your summer, and you shouldn’t have to get rid of them. In these situations, you might want to consider buying additional insurance coverage.

Homeowner insurance in the United States does not usually cover trampoline accidents. If you don’t want to get rid of your trampoline, or if its removal is just too tricky, then you may want to consider buying additional homeowner’s insurance called an “umbrella policy.”

Attractive nuisance insurance will give your family peace of mind that someone is responsible for any injury that occurs on your property.

The most important thing you can do is to ask if your policy covers any of these nuisances or provides additional coverage for them. Some insurers might require that you purchase particular rider policies to receive this extra protection.

What to do if Someone is Hurt by an Attractive Nuisance

You need to take certain steps immediately after someone is hurt on your property due to an attractive nuisance. First of all, give medical attention to any injured party as soon as possible. If a child is hurt when using an attractive nuisance on your property, you immediately notify the authorities.

You should also contact your insurance company after an accident has occurred that has injured someone. That way, they can decide how to proceed with the claim before it is needed.

If you are worried that your home insurance policy may not cover an accident involving an attractive nuisance, then it is advised to purchase a separate rider.

Final thoughts

Whether you want to keep or get rid of an attractive nuisance, make sure to take precautions before allowing a child on your property. You could be sued if they are hurt by an object that was neglected or placed improperly and could have been prevented.

If you keep it, the best thing you can do is upgrade your home insurance.

Remember, no matter what kind of attractive nuisance you may have on your property, it’s always best to ask your insurer if your policy covers them or whether you need to add a clause.

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