Santa gets a background check

As Christmas closes in, more and more kids are making a visit to Santa. But before little ones climb into Santa's lap, the jolly old elf gets a thorough

. Malls and stores are being extra careful these days to make sure Santa hasn't been naughty. Statistics show a small number of those who apply to be Santa's helper do have felony and misdemeanor convictions. Parents say the checks are a good idea. Jocelyn Washington, a parent, said she appreciates the thorough checks, "You teach 'em about Santa and actually Santa is a stranger even though they feel he's a good person. In reality he's a stranger to the kids." Some Santa's have been ordered to wear white gloves so their hands are more visible. Others have children sit next to them instead of on their lap.