If you’re getting ready to travel with your kids for Thanksgiving you may want to have a little discussion about pat-downs before you arrive at the airport security line.
We spend a good portion of our parenting time telling our children not to let strangers touch them, yet they may have to allow a stranger (in theory with good intentions) pat them down if they want to fly to see Grandma.
“1. A child under 12 who opts out of the body scanner will undergo “a modified pat-down search.” Children over 12 who opt out of the body scanner get the regular pat-down. Citing security reasons, the TSA has declined to say what the modified pat-down entails.
2. If an alarm goes off during a screening (as with the aforementioned 3-year-old), even children under 12 will be subject to a full pat-down.
3. To prepare kids, explain the procedures they may encounter ‘including the possibility that they may be touched by TSA personnel as part of a pat-down. Parents won’t necessarily be with their kids as they pass through the scanner or get patted down,’ according to The Los Angeles Times.
4. You might also check out the TSA’s advanced imaging technology web page to show your kids what the full-body scan entails.”
I have never been patted-down at the airport but Rose was when she was a 1-year-old at a small airport in Colorado. It was a little more than a year after 9/11. I just remember them patting down her diaper and we kind of thought it was funny at the time. I guess if she was older and aware of them doing it I wouldn’t haven’t been chuckling. In fact, now that she’s developing if anybody tried to touch her I would probably go ballistic. I’m glad I’m not flying for the holidays.
So what do you think: Should the TSA be patting down kids? Would you rather them go through the full-body scans or be patted down? Will you have a discussion about the pat-downs prior to flying? What’s your plan if it happens?
- by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania blog