Traveling with Children

All passengers are required to undergo screening. However, TSA has developed modified screening procedures for children who appear to be 12 years old and younger. TSA officers will consult parents or the traveling guardian about the child’s screening.

TSA standard screening procedures apply for children 13 years and older. Carry-on property of all passengers, regardless of age, must be screened. All passengers who alarm will undergo additional screening.

Children with Medical Conditions, Disabilities, or Mobility Aids

Inform the TSA officer if the child has a disability, medical condition or medical device.

Let the TSA officer know if your child is able to walk through the metal detector or needs to be carried through the metal detector by a parent/guardian. You may carry your child through the WTMD. The TSA officer will not remove your child from their mobility aid, wheelchair or scooter.

Request Assistance

TSA Cares provides information to passengers with disabilities, medical conditions and those that need additional assistance to better prepare for the security screening process. Call TSA Cares 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. You may also call to request assistance at the checkpoint.

Liquid Formula, Breast Milk, Toddler Drinks, and Baby/Toddler food (to include puree pouches)

Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) are considered medically necessary liquids. This also applies to breast milk and formula cooling accessories, such as ice packs, freezer packs and gel packs (regardless of presence of breast milk). Your child or infant does not need to be present or traveling with you to bring breast milk, formula and/or related supplies.

Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you are carrying formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in excess of 3.4 ounces. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from your other belongings. TSA officers may need to test the liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items.

It’s helpful to the officers when formula and breast milk are in clear, translucent bottles and not plastic bags or pouches. Liquids in plastic bags or pouches may not be able to be screened by Bottle Liquid Scanners, and you may be asked to open them (if feasible) for alternate screening such as Explosive Trace Detection and Vapor Analysis for the presence of liquid explosives. Screening will never include placing anything into the medically necessary liquid.

TSA X-ray machines are not harmful to food or medicines. However, if you do not want the formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) to be X-rayed or opened, please inform the TSA officer. Additional steps will be taken to resolve alarms. You or the traveling guardian will undergo additional screening procedures, to include Advanced Imaging Technology screening and additional/enhanced screening of other carry-on property.

Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) – regardless of the presence of breast milk – are also allowed in carry-ons, along with liquid-filled teethers. If these items are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening as described above.

Passengers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process at the airport may request assistance by contacting TSA Cares or by phone at (855) 787-2227.

Screening of Children’s Items

  • Place all carry-on baggage such as children's toys, bags and blankets on the X-ray belt for screening.
  • Strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats and backpacks must be screened by X-ray.
  • Place items in the stroller pockets or baskets, in a carry-on bag or on the X-ray belt for screening.
  • Equipment that does not fit through the X-ray machine will undergo a visual/physical inspection by TSA officers.

Screening Technology

Walk-Through Metal Detector

Children able to walk through the metal detector without assistance may do so separately from their parent or guardian. If they alarm, children are allowed multiple passes through screening technologies and may undergo other procedures to resolve the alarm to reduce the need for a pat-down.

Infants and small children may be carried through the metal detector. Should the alarm sound, additional screening is required.

Advanced Imaging Technology

If your child is able to remain standing in the required position for 5 seconds, he or she may be screened through the advanced imaging technology. If a child 12 and under goes through the machine and alarms, they have an opportunity to go through again or the TSA officer may use other procedures to resolve the alarm to reduce the need for a pat-down.

You may not be screened by this technology when carrying an infant or child.

Screening your Child

  • Children 12 and under can leave their shoes, light jackets and headwear on during screening. For AIT screening, light jackets must be removed and placed on the X-ray belt.
  • Children will not be separated from their parent/guardian.
  • Remove infants and children from strollers and car seats and carry them in arms through the walk-through metal detector.
  • Infants may be carried in a sling/carrier (to include lap baby) through the walk-through metal detector or when being screened in a wheelchair, but may be subject to additional screening
  • Modified screening procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of a pat-down.