Have you been considering hosting a backyard day camp for your child this summer? Backyard camps have many benefits, but there are several liability dangers involved for you, the host, if you are not careful. Luckily, we have compiled a list of common backyard day camp liabilities to watch out for so you can make sure your backyard doesn’t land you in a lawsuit.
Having a swimming pool is a luxury, but can also become a huge liability. Even if you follow the laws and make sure your pool is fenced in, you need to be extra watchful that kids don’t climb the fence and make their way into the pool. Drowning accidents occur every summer, and you would be responsible even if the person trespassed on your lawn. Even more so in a backyard camp situation, when you have actually invited kids into your backyard, you are clearly responsible for their well-being while there. You can protect the children from drowning accidents (and yourself from a liability) by making sure your fence is high enough, locked securely, and the children are not ever left unattended.
Many families purchase trampolines for their kids to let out energy and kids love them. However, ERs see thousands of children each year due to trampoline injuries. There’s a reason owning a trampoline raises your homeowner’s insurance. Owning a trampoline is a liability. If you run a backyard camp in your yard, the smartest thing to do would be to make the trampoline off limits. There’s no way to truly protect children while they are on the trampoline, so allowing this activity already puts them at risk of injury and you at risk of a lawsuit.
You may not think anyone will touch your lawn mower or sheers, but if you keep any lawn equipment outside or easily accessible from an unlocked shed, they can cause injury to a curious child. Don’t assume children will know better. Make sure all your lawn equipment is safely stored somewhere that is locked and inaccessible to children.
Garbage cans seem an unlikely source of injury, but you would be surprised. If they are placed near a deck or steps, some rambunctious children may decide to use them as part of an obstacle course. Make sure your garbage cans are stored somewhere where children will not be tempted to climb on them and get hurt.
Similar to a trampoline, a bounce house can cause injuries and, if the bounce house is on your property, you could be held responsible. Bounce houses are also considered an attractive nuisance to children who may trespass onto your property in order to play on it. Bounce houses may not be the smartest activity for a backyard camp, but if you do use one, make sure the number of children bouncing on it at a top does not exceed the recommended amount.
Hosting a backyard camp can be a great experience for your kids and you can take steps to make sure everyone stays safe. Backyard day camp liabilities can be avoided if you make sure to take precautions and to have rules about what is and isn’t allowed. If your child does experience an injury on someone else’s property, or if you have any questions about potential liabilities on your own property, the attorneys at Goldberg and Chase Law can help.