Fewer TSA Pat Downs, Shoe Removal for Kids

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 14, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Should TSA pat-downs for kids be the same as pat-downs for adults? Many Americans probably feel that it's unnecessary for young children to go through the same TSA procedures that adults go through.

And, parents may be concerned especially because pat-downs have become more invasive. Some pat-downs even involve touching an individual's private areas. But, the Department of Homeland Security has recently announced that less-invasive TSA procedures will soon be implemented for children.

The new policy will mean that children age 12 and under will no longer have to go through invasive pat-downs, the Washington Post reports.

Instead, they will go through an alternative screening method. Screeners will send children through imaging devices or metal detectors multiple times to capture clear pictures, according to the Washington Post.

And, the TSA plans on using explosive trace detection tools such as hand swabs, the Washington Post reports.

There will still be exceptions. Children may be selected at random to be searched more thoroughly, and may be asked to remove shoes. The TSA plans to implement these changes in a select few airports starting this week, according to the Washington Post.

Additionally, the government plans on utilizing another screening mechanism. Select travelers, vetted by intelligence officials, will be cleared to go through security without taking their shoes off, according to the Washington Post.

The new procedures come at a time when Americans across the nation continue to grapple with increased security measures in airports. Some say that the use of body scanners and pat-downs are an invasion of privacy.

At the same time, TSA procedures are necessary to ensure airport safety. And, there are probably times when it's vital to have procedures like pat-downs. Kids, however, will soon be able to go through alternative screening procedures that will hopefully be less invasive - and just as effective.

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