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Thread: Children & TSA screenings

  1. #1
    Senior Member ctfirewife's Avatar
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    Question Children & TSA screenings

    My husband & I will be traveling with our 1yr old in February to Aruba and have been thinking about the screening process .

    I have read the TSA's website information about children & the screening process but I wanted to hear other's experiences or any advice to make the process a little smoother. We are both seasoned travelers so are accustomed to the process for ourselves, just unsure of the best way to do it with the baby.


    Thank you all in advance.
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    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Hi, I just got back from Aruba on Sunday with my 11 and 7 year olds. A bit older than yours but they are very lenient with children. Both in Boston and Aruba. For instance, they did not make my children take off their shoes (although my 7 year old insisted). They basically just waved them through the metal detector. No full body scans, no pat downs (for any of us). Very, very easy. My head is still in a fog , Iím still in vacation mode so let me know if you need more info!

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    Senior Member ctfirewife's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you are back! The time goes by so fast while you are there but so slow while you are waiting to go!

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I am thinking my son will be walking by then, he is getting SO close now! That should make it all that much easier. I can just see him now walking thru the scanner with me coaching him on the other side!
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    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you are back! The time goes by so fast while you are there but so slow while you are waiting to go! So true! 2 weeks flew by!! But loved every minute of it. Now if I can just get my trip report together.


    I can just see him now walking thru the scanner with me coaching him on the other side! They may let you hold him. I can't remember what I did when my girls were small. You're going to have a great time!

  5. #5
    Senior Member ctfirewife's Avatar
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    Great trip report! I LOVE reading them!

    Thank you again for sharing your experience w/TSA.
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    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Anytime! I'm already trying to plan my next trip for next year.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ctfirewife's Avatar
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    hahaha! A true addict : )
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    I'm sure a baby will be safe from the screeners. Last January, my daughter, husband and their 2 children, son 6 and 12 year-old daughter were leaving Aruba on a Sunday afternoon. At the gate, our granddaughter was stopped, her carry-on bag searched and she was patted down. Our granddaughter was very embarassed and my daughter said she was very upset to have to watch her child who was holding back tears. They both stayed calm, but our daughter and son-in-law would have preferred to be the passenger searched.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Arrow TSA: Traveling with Children

    For anyone else who has not seen the TSA site.

    "TSA: Traveling with Children



    We have to screen everyone, regardless of age (even babies), before they can go through the security checkpoint.

    We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.

    We specially train our Security Officers and they understand your concern for your children. They will approach your children gently and treat them with respect. If your child becomes uncomfortable or upset, security officers will consult you about the best way to relieve your child's concern.
    NEVER leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the X-ray machine.

    Ad Council Video

    • Click here to see our video on traveling with small children.
    • Click here to see our video on self select lanes.

    The Screening Process

    At the X-Ray

    • All carry-on baggage, including children's bags and items, must go through the X-ray machine. Examples include: diaper bags, blankets, and toys.
    • All child-related equipment that will fit through the X-ray machine must go through the X-ray machine. Examples include: strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats, backpacks, and baby slings.
    • When you arrive at the checkpoint, collapse or fold your child-related equipment. Secure items that are in the pockets, baskets, or attached to the equipment and place it on the X-ray belt for inspection. Plastic bins are provided to deposit such items.
    • If any of your child-related equipment does not fit through the X-ray machine, security officers will visually and physically inspect it.
    • Ask a Security Officer for help gathering your bags and child-related equipment, if you need it.

    The Walk-Through Metal Detector

    If your child can walk without your assistance, we recommend that you and your child walk through the metal detector separately. If you are carrying your child through the metal detector and the alarm sounds, our officer will have to additionally screen both you and your child. If a baby is carried through the metal detector in a carrier or sling, additional screening may be required regardless if there is an alarm or not.

    • Remove babies and children from their strollers or infant carriers so that our security officers can screen them individually.
    • You may not pass the child to another person behind you or in front of you during this process.
    • Do not pass your child to our security officer to hold.
    • Our security officers may ask for your help screening your child.

    Baby Formula, Breast Milk, Juice, and Other Liquids

    Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Officers may ask travelers to open these items to conduct additional screening and passengers should declare them for inspection at the checkpoint. Click here to learn more about 3-1-1

    All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller.

    • Click here to read about traveling with formula, breast milk, juice, and baby food.

    All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller.

    All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

    Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.

    Learn more by getting the 3-1-1 on Carry-ons

    Make sure you understand what you can and cannot bring aboard your flight.

    Permitted and prohibited items - What can I bring?
    You should only carry on the liquids and gels needed for you and your infant/toddlerís immediate comfort. You should pack larger volumes needed for your trip in your checked bag.

    Children with Disabilities
    If your child has a disability or medical condition, please read our separate section on traveling with
    Children with Disabilities."

  10. #10
    Senior Member ctfirewife's Avatar
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    Patty, I can only imagine how your daughter and son in law felt. Poor thing.


    Being a government employee, I know that one thing can be said and another can be done, even TSA, so I like to hear others experiences. No surprises.
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