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Liability and play dates: What parents need to know

Your children have been nagging you to let their friends come over to try out their new playground equipment in the backyard. You have a pool and many fun things to do. As a parent, you know that the items you allow your children to play with have their own risks, but it's ones you're willing to allow. Would other parents feel the same? If a child gets hurt at your house, will you be held liable?

The truth is that it depends on the situation. If you're particularly worried about what a parent might do if a child gets hurt, you could ask that those who send over their children fill out a waiver. Typically, that's unnecessary, because unless you've been negligent in maintaining the equipment, pool or toys, it would be hard to prove that you should be held liable.

When you invite someone into your home, remember that you're accepting the role of the caretaker for that day. Children need to be supervised, and if you have them on your property, you need to be there to watch them. That way, if someone is hurt or you notice a child doing something dangerous, you can step in right away.

Simple accidents, like tripping in a safe area or getting a bruise from swinging with friends aren't usually enough to result in injuries that require a lawsuit. If you are facing one for an injury that occurred on your property or think you have a case against another parent, your attorney can review your case and provide his or her educated opinion.

Source: FindLaw, "Am I Liable If a Child Is Injured on My Property?," George Khoury, Esq., accessed July 21, 2017

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