If in backing your car out of a driveway you look to only one side as you approach the sidewalk, and strike and injure a pedestrian approaching from the other side, who had been so engrossed in conversation with a companion as not to have cast even a glance up the driveway, your liability for his injuries might well depend upon his age. The standard of care required (in most circumstances) of normal adults (and corporations) for the protection of themselves and of others is that they take such care as ordinary prudent persons would take in the circumstances. Little, if any, allowance is made for the deviations of their actual capabilities or experience from those envisioned for the ordinary prudent person. But for children it has long been otherwise.
James B. Wilkens,
Contributory Negligence of Very Young Children,
20 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol20/iss1/60