Children

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Denver officials are working to legalize children's lemonade stands after police shut down a neighborhood stand earlier this year for lacking the proper city permits.

Katie MacDonald / WOW! Children's Museum

For children with autism and sensory processing disorders, play spaces that meet their needs can be hard to come by. WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette is trying to meet kids where they are and provide a space for play among children of all abilities.

A large part of our region isn't doing very well when it comes to child health. That's according to the 2018 Kids Count Data Book out today.

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An unexpected bipartisan moment at Colorado's Capitol came courtesy of a little-known bill late in the session. Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted for legislation to restrict the public's access to the autopsy records of children. The bill, which is now on Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk, has sparked ongoing debate between advocates for the privacy of grieving families and advocates for the public's interest in children's deaths.

The country's first free-range parenting law goes into effect in Utah May 8. But people in other states are already warming to the idea.

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Colorado is becoming more diverse -- but children of color aren’t on equal footing with their white peers, according to the 2017 Kids Count report. The annual report by the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Annie E. Casey Foundation focused on the state’s growing minority populations, which are expected to make up almost half of Colorado’s population by 2050.

“When you really drill down and look at the data, we see some pretty big gaps, and those gaps too often fall along racial and ethnic lines as a result of policies and practices that over the years have disproportionately limited opportunities for Colorado’s kids of color ” said Sarah Hughes, research director with the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

Kids Count Data Book 2016 / Annie E. Casey Foundation

Colorado consistently ranks at the top of national lists for livability, access to the great outdoors and for low adult obesity. But the Centennial State falls towards the middle in a national report by the Annie E. Casey foundation in taking care of its children. Taking into account data from all aspects of a child’s life, from education funding to health care coverage, Colorado ranks 20th, improving just one spot from 2015.

“That was largely driven by gains in economic well-being and the health of kids in our state,” said Colorado Children’s Coalition data analyst Sarah Barnes, whose organization works with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“We saw our child poverty rate here in Colorado decline in 2014 for the second year in a row - that’s the first back to back decline that Colorado has seen in more than a decade.”

Colorado Has Yet to Hit 'Peak Flu'

Dec 16, 2015
Carol E. Davis / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The number of flu cases is beginning to tick up in Colorado. In the latest report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 12 people have been hospitalized for influenza since reporting began in Oct. 2015. The previous two seasons were moderately severe, so this slow start is welcomed by health officials.

“We really can’t say a whole lot about why the flu season does what it does,” said state epidemiologist Lisa Miller.“Last year [2014] we had a relatively early and severe flu season.”

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The number of children living in poverty in Colorado has gone down for the second year in a row, while health insurance coverage in the younger generation is the highest it’s ever been.

According to federal census data, almost 17 percent of Colorado children lived in poverty in 2013. By the following year it had dropped by 2 percent, a significant decline. It’s been a year since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the percentage of children in Colorado without health care hit 5.6 percent in 2014, improving three percentage points from 2013.

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For the first time since the start of the recession, child poverty has decreased in Colorado. The child poverty rate in 2013 was 16.9 percent, down from 18.5 percent just the year before. That represents about 17,000 fewer children living in poverty, according to data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.