Attractive Nuisance – Property Owner’s Responsibility for Dangers to Children

      Fundamental instincts collide with children and property.  Children’s value is priceless, but the instinct for unrestricted use of one’s land limits the duty under law to make property safe as to uninvited children.  A property owner’s duties as to children invited to a business, or who actively take responsibility for supervision and custody, are based on due care.  But social guests who are allowed to visit, and trespassers, require little obligation on the owner; only the duty to not willfully cause harm, and not to allow hidden dangers that might be “mantraps” 

     The concept of “attractive nuisance” where children come on premises because of something that looks fun, but is dangerous, is limited in Georgia.  Such uninvited little visitors are deemed to have sufficient knowledge of most dangers and assume those risks.  These have included trampolines, rope swings, falling from heights such as trees and fences, or finding bungee cords to play with in a tool shed.  Natural ponds and lakes have been held to raise no special duties.  Swimming pools have been found to raise the potential for attractive nuisance where they are in a residential neighborhood with kids, and reasonable care might include a fence.  Cases have also considered the possibility that farm equipment could be an attractive nuisance.  As in many areas of the law, the rules provide no bright line for any situation and reasonableness under the circumstances is expected.

The information provided in this summary is general and for information only and does not constitute legal advice for any particular situation of facts and circumstances.  If you have need of legal advice, please consult an attorney for your specific questions.