Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted to be brought on board the aircraft. As with other medically necessary liquids, travelers must tell the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that they wish to bring formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces in their carry-on bag. These liquids are typically screened by X-ray, and formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces will receive additional screening.
Exemptions from the 3-1-1 Rule
Liquids in carry-on baggage are ordinarily limited by the 3-1-1 rule, which allows travelers to bring one quart-sized, clear zip-top bag containing liquids no larger than 3.4 ounces. However, travelers flying with or without a child may bring medically necessary liquids, such as formula, breast milk and juice, in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces in their carry-on baggage. The formula, breast milk and juice need not fit within a quart-sized bag. Travelers are encouraged to travel with only as much formula, breast milk and juice needed to reach their destination. Ice packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are also permitted through the screening checkpoint and are not bound by the 3-1-1 requirements. Travelers are also allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred and processed baby food in carry-on baggage and aboard the plane. These items may be subject to additional screening.
Declaring Formula, Breast Milk, and Juice
Formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces or accessories required to transport the liquid on a flight must be declared to the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process. If a traveler does not want formula, breast milk and juice to be X-rayed or opened, the traveler must inform the officer before screening begins.
Screening Formula, Breast Milk, and Juice
Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are screened in the same manner as medically necessary liquids. Officers may test liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items. If officers are unable to use X-ray to clear these items, they may ask for the container to be opened and may also ask the traveler to transfer to a separate container or dispose of a small quantity of liquid, if feasible. TSA suggests traveling with an empty container and avoid filling the container to the top. If the formula, breast milk and juice cannot be X-rayed or opened, officers may be required to take additional steps to clear the liquid as well as conduct additional screening, which may include a pat-down of the traveler and screening of the remainder of the traveler’s accessible property.
The Food and Drug Administration states that there are no known adverse effects from eating food, drinking beverages and using medicine that has been screened by X-ray. For more information about X-ray screening, read the safety reports for X-ray screening.
When traveling with an infant or toddler, please keep these important tips in mind:
- Separate formula, breast milk and juice from 3-1-1 liquids, gels and aerosols.
- Declare any non-3-1-1 items to transportation security officers as you prepare your property for X-ray screening.
- Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the X-ray.