If you are planning a trip with your child you may be apprehensive about new security measures. Although some of the new restrictions may add extra time to your travel time, security officers are also very considerate towards children. Private screenings and security officer help is common at the checkpoint if you need it, so be assured and follow these tips.
The easiest way to help avoid problems at the airport is to speak to your children before going on a trip. In addition to telling them how to behave on the aircraft, also speak to them about what they should expect when going through security. Many children may be anxious, especially if they are chosen for additional screening.
Children in the age group of 3-9 are the most difficult to manage as they are not accustomed to security and are apprehensive to go through the airport security due to it being so long where guards have metal detectors in hand, which is enough to scare them out of their wits. The port of Seattle flight information has an interesting clause where children are to be treated gently so that they feel comfortable.
The Transportation Security Administration tells parents that they will never be separated from their children, no matter what screening they are chosen for. They also specially train their officers to be careful when screening children so they are not upset. If your child cries or is otherwise agitated, the officer may ask you for help to continue the screening process.
Also explain to your child the importance of good behavior and staying close to you while going through security. Jokes made about bombs or guns must be taken seriously, no matter how young a child is. If a security officer hears any such talk, your whole family may be detained and possibly fined.
Keep in mind the importance of allowing plenty of time to get through security with your children. Call the airline for departure times and their recommendations for arrival time at the airport. Now is also a good time to ask about pre-boarding procedures that you might want to take advantage of.
If you are traveling with multiple children and are alone, consider requesting a private screening. This will help you, your children, and any carryon items go through screening with a minimal amount of inconvenience. It will also help other passengers go through the screening checkpoint more rapidly.
Infants are also specially screened at the checkpoint. Although all of the special equipment for your infant must go through the X-ray machine, do not ever leave your bay in the carrier when it goes through the X-ray machine. Other items such as toys, diaper bags, strollers, and baby slings must go through the X-ray before being returned to you.
If you have an unwieldy amount of baby things, you can ask a security officer for help in getting all of these items properly through the X-ray machine. For ease of screening, stow small items and collapse larger ones before placing on the belt. If you have small items, place them in the bins provided for you. Large items that do not fit through the X-ray machine must still be inspected. Tell a security officer and he will do a hand check of the item.
Also be sure to declare any items such as breast milk and formula. You can carry any amount of these liquids on board the airplane as long as you are also traveling with a newborn or small child. Security encourages you to only put liquids in your carryon that are required for the flight and check any liquids needed at a later date.
If your child can walk through the metal detector on his own, encourage him to do so. Otherwise, if alarm bells sound while you are carrying your child, you both must be screened. You can also not give your child to another person to hold during the screening process, and do not ask a security officer to hold your child.
Follow these procedures for a quick trip through security. If you are unsure of a procedure while at the checkpoint, ask the security officer for directions. Security officers are often happy to help and provide service to make traveling easier for those with children. Don’t be apprehensive and your child will view this time as an adventure.