A kid playing alone doesn’t mean they’re neglected, new Colorado law states

“We want to let parents be parents,” state Rep. Kim Ransom, R-Littleton, said.
Happy family kids outside children parents walk
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 17:57:38-04

Kids will be able to play outside by themselves without parents worrying that it will be grounds for neglect under a law signed by Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday afternoon.

House Bill 1090, titled Reasonable Independence For Children, tightens up what the state considers neglect. When it takes effect this summer, it will no longer be considered neglect if a “reasonable and prudent parent” or guardian finds their children mature enough to travel to school or nearby stores or recreation centers, play outside or stay at home by themselves.

“Just because a kid is playing alone outside doesn’t mean that they are in danger,” Polis said at the bill signing Wednesday. “Which I think is obvious, but it’s always good to put that in law because you never know, and we certainly don’t want parents getting in trouble because their kid is playing at the playground.”

The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously this year, and had previously won unanimous approval in the House during the pandemic-shortened session of 2020. State Sen. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, and Rep. Kim Ransom, R-Littleton, had been working on the bill together since 2019.

“We want to let parents be parents,” Ransom said, adding that parents know their kids best. “They know how they’re able to go play alone, or go play with a sibling, or walk to a park or walk to the store to buy mom the tomato she needs for dinner, if the store’s close enough.”

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.