Swimming pools can lead to premises liability claims

Summer comes later to Parker than to other areas of the country, but it appears the warmer temperatures are here at last. With schools letting out for the summer vacation and the mercury rising, many kids will be looking for ways to cool off.

That often leads children to explore their neighbor's pools and spas for a quick, unsupervised dip. Sadly, some of these forays can result in accidental drownings.

The problem is that swimming pools are what is known in insurance and legal circles as "attractive nuisances." They pose inherent hazards, yet their presence entices kids to jump gates and scale walls to gain access to these forbidden amenities.

Many homeowners post signage around their pools alerting unauthorized users that they are trespassing. Of course, small children can't read signs. Homeowners, therefore, must take all precautions to avoid accidental drownings on their property. That includes installing fencing and locked gates to deter kids from jumping into the pool. For above-ground pools, it could also mean removing ladders so small children can't climb up and get into the pool.

How can parents keep their kids safer this summer? Start with teaching the kids that it's never OK to enter a neighbor's pool without permission and an adult to supervise. Breaching a wall or jumping a gate to get into the pool area should be strictly forbidden and any lapses dealt with accordingly.

If your neighbor with a pool lacks safety fences and gates, you may decide to have a talk with them about the potential liability they face should a tragedy occur. If your child is injured in a near-drowning episode on someone else's property, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. We can review your case and offer a path to resolution.

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Parker, CO 80138

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