In case you missed the announcement, TSA (the federal airport
security screening agency) no longer thinks your child is a
terrorist. Or at least the agency no longer thinks your kids have
bombs in their shoes.
Under a rule change put in place this year, children under 12
are no longer required to take off their shoes to pass through
security. Kids over 12 and the adults traveling with them still
need to de-shoe before walking through the metal detectors, but
this rule change is welcome news to parents, especially parents
traveling with tykes.
Before the rule changed earlier this year, I was in the security
line at O'Hare several people behind a mom traveling with three
kids under 5. They all were wearing lace-up sneakers that had to be
tied. (Maybe it was poor planning on her part, but I suspect it had
more to do with a lack of foresight as she packed up three kids and
herself and hustled off to O'Hare.)
When she got to the security line, she had to fold up the
stroller, put the diaper bag and another carry-on through the
scanner, then wrestle each kid out of their jackets and take off
their shoes, walk them through the metal detector, reclaim her
belongings and wrestle each kid back into one jacket and two
It was exhausting just watching her. (And, yes, I would have
offered to help-unlike the other passengers who merely gave her
dirty looks for holding up the line-but she had finished by the
time I got through the scanner.)
So, if you're flying somewhere for the holidays, give thanks to
TSA for having a little common sense when it comes to kids.
For more tips on getting through security during the busy
holiday travel times, visit the TSA website.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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