Children With Disabilities and Airport
Passing through security checkpoints at
airports is a difficult process and poses several challenges for
parents traveling with disabled children. We provide several
guidelines, some provided to us by our contact at the Transport
Security Administration. At no time during the process should
the security personnel attempt to separate you from your child.
Parents or guardians of children with
disabilities should. Inform the Security Officer if the child
has any special needs or medical devices.
- If you think your child may become upset
during the screening process as a result of their disability,
let the security personnel know as you near the X-Ray machine
and Metal Scanner.
- Provide the security personnel with your
suggestions on how to best accomplish the screening to minimize any
confusion or outburst for the child.
- Ask the Security personnel for assistance
during the process by helping you put your and the child's
carry-on items on the X-ray belt.
- Know that if a private screening is required,
you should escort and remain with your child during the private
- Tell the security personnel your child's
abilities and suggest the best way to proceed.
- For example: let security know if
the child can walk through the metal detector, needs to be
hand-wanded, or needs to be carried through the metal
detector by the parent/guardian.
- Know that at no time should the Security
Officer remove your child from his/her mobility aid (wheelchair or
- You are responsible for
removing your child from his/her equipment at your
discretion to accomplish screening.
- If your child is unable to walk or stand,
the Security Officer will conduct a pat-down search of your
child while he/she remains in their mobility aid, as well as a
visual and physical inspection of their equipment.
The greatest aid to you in this process is
patience. Not all security personnel are as sensitive as they
should be to travelers with disabilities. However, letting
them know their shortcomings will likely only make the process more
difficult. Take their name and number and
to the TSA authorities if you feel strongly about the
treatment you or your special needs child received at any security