Tips for Going Through TSA Airport Security with Kids
If you are travelling with children, especially young children, you may be concerned about making your way through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at the airport. There really is no reason for this concern, as the TSA has relaxed some regulations in order to make your the experience as convenient as possible for parents with kids in tow. Nobody is really thrilled by such a procedure, but, taken as a whole, the added security it provides is well worth the brief inconvenience it costs you.
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In this photo you see that I only get half the suitcase as I share the other half with my daughter as we pack for our 13 day European trip.
First of all, you may want to look for the special queue set aside for those travelers who may need special attention, or for those who wish to go through the line without a stress inducing sense of urgency. A more relaxed pace may keep both you and the kids more relaxed, too. And be aware that the 3.4 ounce limit on liquids does not apply to your kids’ sippy cups, or formula bottles, or expressed breast milk. These items will be examined, either with lightwand technology, or a simple smear test, and will be cleared quickly. Mom and dad will be required to remove their shoes and place them on the belt to pass through x-ray devices, but children under twelve are exempt from this. This alone saves a lot of time, and quite a bit of lost footwear. Use your child’s stroller wisely. Some people opt for a bare bones model, lightweight and easy to handle. But others go for one with all the bells and whistles, using it as a personal baggage cart. This is all well and good, but be aware that the stroller must be emptied, and put on the belt for inspection.
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A parent carrying a child will never be separated from that child by the TSA. If you are carrying a child, you will never be asked to submit to advanced imaging, where the whole body is scanned. Your adult traveling companion may also be excused from the procedure, but this is at the discretion of the security agent.
Your air travel will begin and end your family vacation, and being informed and prepared for the security checkpoint will avoid stress and confusion. Experienced mother Amy Simpkins offers some advice on dealing with airport security in her video. The TSA offers additional advice on dealing with checkpoints via reports on a local TV station, as well as on its own youtube video. Know before you go!