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Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Americans will spend 6 billion dollars on Halloween this year - according to the website Business Insider. Some people got trick-or-treating started a few days early in Cedar Rapids.
The traditional costumes were out, even if it wasn't the most traditional trick or treat outing. Attendees at the Salvation Army's 'Trunk or Treat' say Halloween night can be scary.
"People drive crazy, and don't slow down when they know it's trick or treat time," parent Michelle Eberhardt said.
So the event provided a safe alternative.
"You've got a lot of control over how many people are here, you can see that the candy is a lot safer," said attendee Jill Routier.
Some will still make the neighborhood trek for treats on Thursday, and police say take caution.
"Parents should be with their children, take a flashlight with them, wear bright colored clothes," said Sgt. Phil Fort with the Marion Police Department.
Sgt. Fort even suggests you bring a whistle.
"You can blow that if someone approaches you that you don't know," Fort said.
Which leads to another concern of parents we spoke with - sex offenders.
There's nothing in Iowa law that prohibits offenders from taking part in Halloween. Offenders on parole or probation are subject to stricter rules, however. They will actually be chosen for random checks on Halloween night. Those offenders must be home, must have their lights off, and must keep their doors locked.
Some say a quick check of the sex offender registry before Halloween night is a no-brainer.
"It's nice to know who's where, and stay away from those areas," Routier said.
Police say you can do the same and plan routes ahead of time.
"You can check that website, see where they're located at," Fort said.
And with safety taken care of, your kids can focus on that annual goal.
"Get more candy than last year!" trick-or-treater Nate Shukers enthusiastically said.
If you want to access the sex offender registry, head to http://www.iowasexoffender.com/