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 shoes.
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.