Re: treehouse, liability
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:09:43 -0700 (PDT)
True, one doesn't want to "drive oneself nuts" with worries over liability, but there are also reasons to be prudent. Certain kinds of things - open swimming pools, trampolines, etc - are what are legally referred to as "attractive nuisances." Can one expect that a treehouse would be a magnet for neighbor children? Of course. You not only don't want to get sued for drastic damages, negligence, etc, but you also don't want your coverage for other things pulled, if your insurer backs out on you. Especially if you are in a situation where CAU is your only feasible community insurer. A lot depends on how dangerous something really is. The good news is that a treehouse can be made safer. In the Sacramento area, Bev Bos's famous preschool had an amazing treehouse that went way up into a big tree on their play-yard. The key was that it was all enclosed! There was a stairway that wound up around the tree, and it was all "caged", as were the high-up "floors". Kids could see out, but couldn't fall out, crawl through, or otherwise access ways to fall. I"d say either stay fairly close to the ground (kids can have a lot of fun on a generic platform that's only 2-3 feet off the ground) or make it fall-proof. Look too at what's on the ground beneath it, eliminating big rocks or such. Have fun!
Lynn at RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA
where we have a professionaly Cedar Works play structure (was price-y), with a pea gravel "pit" all around it, and some hide-y holes in the thicket (zero cost) where the kids like to hang out.

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