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Ensuring Safety For Kids At Play

When it comes to safety for their childen, it seems parents can never have enough peace of mind. In today's world, secure play areas are a necessity for concerned families.

CBS News Correspondent Jeffrey Kofman reports on an indoor amusement park that takes security very seriously. Jeepers in New York provides numbered identification tags upon entrance that match every child with a mom or dad. Cameras throughout the park record every movement.

"The only reason we rolled it out is that our customers wanted it," says Jeepers President Nabil El-Hage. "They told us they would feel safer with it."

Charlene Thill, a mother, sees such safety measures as a harsh reality in these times.

"I think it's very sad, the world we live in," Thill says. "You hear on the radio about kids being taken or disappearing. I don't feel you can trust anything."

But criminologist Jack Levin of Northeastern University says the climate of fear doesn't match facts about crime in the US. Levin suggests that crime is down, but fear is up.

"There is a culture of paranoia in this country, where our children are being fed a line that will probably last throughout their lives," he said. "It makes them unnecessarily anxious and fearful about their personal safety."

The random abduction of children that most parents fear is quite rare. Many people don't realize that the vast majority of child abductions are committed by a family member - usually a parent involved in a custody battle.

In more than 20 years, Chuck E. Cheese, the popular arcade restaurant, has never had a child disappear. But to appease worried parents, it recently began offering numbered handstamps that make sure the right adult leaves with the right kid.

Parent Andy Hirsch is comforted by low-crime statistics, but he welcomes any extra efforts at security for his daughter.

"The stats are just numbers," Hirsch says. "But I guess if it ever happened to her, or something like that, I guess it doesn't matter that crime is going down."