There are a lot of things for parents to consider when it comes to keeping their kids safe on Halloween, but do parents factor in where registered sex offenders live when planning their candy-gathering trips around town?
Parents agreed their kids' safety is important, but many of them had never considered the possibility that their kids could be walking up to a sex offender's door.
Costumed kids flooded the streets trick-or-treating this Halloween. For parents, it all comes down to safety, from checking candy to planning which houses to visit.
Some parents stick to the same route year after year.
â??We go to places we're familiar with, that we've been to before, houses of people we know,â?? said Lisa Hockin of Traverse City.
Groups traveling from door to door could be visiting a house belonging to a registered sex offender.
Parents can check by downloading a free smartphone app or accessing public records that pinpoint where in your community sex offenders live. The app also includes a description of the offender and the crime committed.
â??If you know there are certain houses to avoid, then I guess that would affect where we go. That's just one less thing as parents we'd have to worry about. We try to go to great lengths to make sure they're dressed warmly, dressed safely, are able to be seen. So I suppose that might help me feel more at ease,â?? said Hockin.
Other parents said it is not worth the worry.
â??At the end of the day, you want your kids to be safe,â?? said Scott Herzberg of Traverse City. â??If you stay close enough to them, you have a chance to keep an eye on them all the time. I tend to believe in the goodness of people.â??
Some states require sex offenders to attend events on Halloween to ensure they are not participating in handing out candy. Others demand they turn out the lights and avoid trick-or-treaters.