Dear Urban Diplomat: can I ask my neighbours to cover up their naked kid?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I ask my neighbours to cover up their naked kid?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Can I ask my neighbour to cover up their naked kid? (Image: Amanda Tipton/Flickr)
 
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My neighbour’s little boy is four, and he’s been running around our street in his birthday suit all summer. It’s getting a bit weird. At what point should small children be clothed when in ­public? Is there a law?

—Unfree Willy, Riverside

The legal answer is clear: it’s against the law to run around naked in public. However, the age of criminal responsibility in Canada is 12—which means the cops aren’t likely to haul in your neighbour’s kid for indecent exposure anytime soon. The moral answer is, as always, more complicated. School age, in my opinion, is borderline too old for cavorting starkers around the neighbourhood. Four or five is also the age that children should be learning to keep their privates private. But that doesn’t make it any of your business. Assuming the kid is under proper supervision and the only issue is the all-over tan, I suggest you butt out and keep your barefaced disapproval to yourself.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com