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Going through airport security can be extremely stressful with kids. Knowing what to expect, and how to get through efficiently will benefit everyone involved.
Airport security is a big pain for someone to go through alone. Throw in a kid or two to the mix, and you’ve not made for a stressful situation. You’re trying to get your kids in order, get your own things in order, and you’re trying to keep everything moving at a decent pace. It can be a real pain.
First off, make sure not to stress too much about what others are going to think about you. Someone may say something to you, or give you a look that isn’t very nice. Just remember that you’ll get through security quickly enough, and those people likely don’t have kids. Travelling alone is very different from flying with kids.
You still want to be as courteous and thoughtful about those around you as you can, so going in prepared for the security line can really make the situation less stressful for everyone involved.
Know what is expected of kids
Kids have different expectations than adults when going through airport security. Adults are expected to remove shoes and belts to clear security. Children are exempt from this policy. Don’t take their shoes off as you’ll just be working on getting them back on once you get up there.
Kids do have to put bags on the security belt, and any other loose articles. They can’t take a backpack through with them - it has to go through on the belt like all of your items. Make sure you have those all ready to be set onto the belt and sent through to be scanned.
In all airports, there is a separate security line that you will be sent through with your child. You’ll walk through a standard metal detector, and if your child is young enough, they’ll walk through with you - you can just carry them through. Your child won’t be expected to stand in the spinning scanner like the other adults, and you won’t either. It makes it simpler to get through the line.
Know what you can take with you
For a baby, you can take both milk (regular and breast) and juice up to 3.4 ounces. The TSA may want to screen these items - they’ll squirt some of it out and test that it’s what you say it is. If you have anything else bigger, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to take it through security with you. You can also take ice packs or other similar supplies to keep your milk cool.
All technology will have to be screened according to normal standards. Laptops and tablets have to be removed from your bag, or else on the top of a bag (in the case of a tablet). You'll likely have multiple tablets if you have multiple kids - if they can carry their own technology, have them do that - it's one less thing you have to worry about. If you will have it, make sure it's in an easy to remove location and not buried at the bottom of your pack.
If you're bringing a stroller, booster seats, or other items, they all have to go on the belt to be screened. Have them broken down as quickly as you can and placed on the belt. The only things going through the metal detector are you and your child. Basically everything else goes on the belt.
Once you’re to the belt, just move as quickly as you can to get everything on the belt, and then proceed to walk through. Once you’re on the other side of security, grab all of your stuff, and move it out of the way to one of the tables that is there. Don’t try to get everything back on and in place at the end of the belt. You’ll just be jamming things even further behind you.
Getting through airport security with kids is a bit of work, but getting through can be done quickly and efficiently if you’re prepared. Once you’re through, move out of the way, take a few deep breaths, and get headed on to your flight.