Splashing in water is one of the favorite ways for children to play. Whether it is a bathtub, puddle or backyard pool, playing in water can be hard to resist, especially on a hot Alabama day. It is important for neighbors who have pools or hot tubs in their yards to take every precaution to prevent children from gaining access to the water without supervision.
Most states have strict laws requiring homeowners to enclose their pools. Alabama is not one of those states. Nevertheless, you should expect your neighbors to follow federal rules and to have an abundance of caution to protect children.
What are the minimum standards of security for a pool?
In many cases, the law considers swimming pools, hot tubs and backyard spas to be “attractive nuisances.” This means they are likely to entice children who may not understand how dangerous they can be.
A neighbor with a backyard pool that is open and easy to access may be responsible if your child becomes injured or worse after wandering onto the property. Some factors in your neighbor’s backyard that may create a hazard for your young children may include the following:
- Failing to install a fence around an in-ground or permanent above-ground pool
- Failing to cover a hot tub that is not in use adequately
- Neglecting to lock a gate that restricts entrance to the pool area
- Failing to install or activate alarms on doors that lead outside to the pool area
- Allowing inflated toys to remain in the pool, which may entice a child to try to reach them
- Keeping electrical hazards, such as radios or appliances, near the pool or spa
- Failing to keep covers on the pool’s plumbing grates or suction fittings
- Failing to supervise your children when they play near the pool
- Allowing pool chemicals to remain within access of a curious child
Submersion injuries and drownings are too common across the country. Most are preventable with reasonable precautions.
If your child has suffered life-altering or fatal injuries because a negligent neighbor did not take the appropriate steps to restrict access to a pool or other attractive nuisance, you should know your rights. Speaking with a skilled and compassionate attorney may help you understand your options for holding such homeowners responsible for their negligence.