Home Pool Drowning Liability & Prevention Guide

Anne Dennon
Anne Dennon

A backyard pool is a homeowner’s dream — great for poolside entertaining, kids’ parties, and cooling off during summer’s peak. But pools are also a major responsibility, one that goes beyond raking out leaves and chlorinating the water. 

Like trampolines, pools are considered an “attractive nuisance” in some jurisdictions. In the attractive nuisance doctrine, landowners are liable for children who get injured while trespassing on their property if they were attracted by some obvious object: swimming pools and other water features, trampolines, treehouses, even piles of lumber or sand. 

The theory: A child may not understand the risk associated with an “attractive nuisance,” but you, the adult and landowner, should. While many hazards to children are unpredictable and uncontrollable, a swimming pool isn’t one of them. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children under five, and most of those deaths occur in residential pools. Unsurprisingly, deaths by drowning occur most frequently in summer: June, July, and August. Hot weather should make you especially vigilant, but pool safety is a year-round priority.

If you have a pool or hot tub on your property, whether in-ground or above-ground, implement a safety plan before tragedy strikes. Then make sure you’re holding the right insurance. You may need to purchase extra personal liability coverage to cover your pool’s costly risks. 

How to prevent pool accidents

There are two distinct high-risk groups for drowning: children under the age of five and boys ages 15-19. Take the following measures to keep pool-users safe — and make your pool less inviting to youths when adults aren’t around to supervise.

Reduce your liability, keep your insurability

What liability insurance doesn’t cover

Homeowners insurance for residential pools

Use safety features

Build a fence

Establish pool rules

Know CPR

About the Authors

Anne Dennon

Anne Dennon Writer

Anne has covered a variety of topics for Reviews.com over the past two years. She's passionate about research and surfacing the truth for readers.