When traveling with children, you must Plan Before You Stand!
When you dress your children for travel, remind yourself that they too need to wear clothes with little or no metal. Overalls will alarm. Small children will be asked to remove their shoes, so have them wear slip on shoes.
If your child is traveling alone, parents are allowed to walk them to the gate with an escort pass from the airlines. Just show your escort pass to the metal detector screener. Ask for a supervisor if the screener questions the pass.
Primary screening is hard enough for children, especially if the screener requests the parents to divest the child's security blanket or favorite stuffed animal. Children don't understand why; all they know is that something they treasure and love has been stripped away from their tiny hands, and now they are upset. By this time they are pitching a fit. They are in the middle of a breakdown. As the child throws a tantrum, the parent is trying to get him or her to walk through the metal detector. The child just stands there and cries. At this point they pick up their child and walk through together. They both alarm. They go back and check to make sure that all of their metal items have been divested, and they walk through again. They alarm again. Now there is a bigger problem as they are both required to go to secondary screening, and the child is even more upset. The crying turns into screaming.
Remember the child started crying at the metal detector and now is in secondary screening. They both alarmed, so the parent holding the child has to be screened too. You cannot pass the child off to the other parent until both child and parent have been cleared.
I have seen three things happen when a child is screaming at the top of his or her lungs. One is that the parent and the child go into private screening, which enables the child to calm down in a private place. The second is that the parent allows the child to scream while the screener performs secondary screening on the child. At this moment, the child usually starts to hit the screener. The third is the parent calms the child down first and screening begins. Ideally, private screening would be the perfect place for an over stimulated child to calm down. This is not the appropriate place for a timeout.
In every case, the screener should clear the child first. Then the child can sit in his or her stroller and recover from such a dramatic experience while the parent is cleared. Some children don't have a problem with undergoing secondary screening, even if they don't understand what's going on. The reason is collaboration between the parents and the screener. A parent must be present in order to conduct secondary screening on your child (under 18 years old). The parent will need to explain the process to their child, and if the child is too young, it is up to the parent to ease the child's fear of the process.
Strollers, car seats, and baby carriers in any form must go through x-ray.
1. An infant will either have his or her own boarding pass or there will be a stamp on one of the parent's boarding passes. Check your tickets before leaving the ticket counter.
2. Carry your baby or small child through the metal detector to avoid stress.
3. Make sure your children are not placing their hands on or near any part of the x-ray belt to avoid injury.
4. Once you are through the metal detector, pick up your items and move down. Leave room for others to come through too.
5. Place all carry-on items, including baby blankets, toys, and food, in a bin or bag.
6. When going through the maze (roped area leading to the x-ray machine) keep your children close to you. This is for safety and security reasons.
7. Ask the airlines for an escort pass if your child (under 18) is traveling alone.
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IMightAsWellBeNaked.com Natalia Ippolito, a former airport screener and author of: I MIGHT AS WELL BE NAKED: How to Survive Airport Screening With Your Clothes On. Receive her FREE Tips of The Week, Chapter Download and Report on Unknown Violations and Fines.
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