Security Restrictions At Airports Loosened For Children 12 And Younger

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Big changes at our nation’s airports where new security measures for children 12 years and younger are about to take effect.

Jessica Kartalija has more from travelers who say they’re on-board with the plan.

Homeland Security officials say we can expect these changes to take effect over the next few weeks.

A 6-year-old girl is patted down by a TSA agent, the agent is talking the girl through the security procedure. TSA says the agent acted appropriately, but the screening process is changing.

“We are moving to loosen restrictions on children under 12,” said Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.

Addressing Congress, Napolitano said children 12 and younger will no longer have to remove their shoes.

“Usually kids aren’t carrying bombs that I know of,” one traveler said. “So I think that’s a good idea.”

“I’m glad that, taking a child to the airport, I won’t have the hassle of having to take her shoes off, and putting them back on,” Jill Johnston, a mother from Raleigh, N.C., said.

Parents like Johnston say it will save her time and speed the security process for others.

“A big part of people flying anywhere is worrying about the security process, how long that might take,” another traveler said.

In addition to the children not having to remove their shoes when they go through security, there are alternatives to the child having to be patted down.

Children may be asked to go through metal detectors or walk through imaging machines multiple times.

“We teach our children not to let anyone touch you, we teach our children not to let any adults touch you,” Johnson said. “And then it’s supposed to be OK as soon as we go through an airport. That’s unacceptable.”

Homeland Security officials say there may be some exceptions to these rules. They say they want to keep these security checks unpredictable.

Napolitano says these security changes require additional training for all TSA officers.

More from Jessica Kartalija
  • baltimore resident

    now all terrorists will put razors in their kids shoes

  • Bewildered

    It must have been very frustrating for terrorists lately.

    Trying to smuggle explosives, biological agents, and sharp implements onto our planes, must have been nearly impossible, given the security measures taken before the boarding process.

    I can almost hear local neighborhood terrorists quietly whispering with delight, upon learning of the changes in procedure, regarding juvenile passengers. We have now “relaxed” our standards, and created an opening in our screening process that will assist them in their efforts to kill us.

    Perhaps we could offer a complimentary glass of champagne, in festive celebration, to those who are known to strap bombs to children and send them to mingle with Americans.

    I not saying that “not patting down children” is unwise.

    Rather, I wish to suggest that “not patting down children” is F#&@K!NG stupid.

  • j

    and when was the last time a terrorist under the age of 12 boarded a plane? And you do realize the “patting down” is random, not because something aroused suspicion. A little common sense please.

    • donnamartin

      I’m sure there aren’t many 12 year old terrorists but as paranoid as it sounds, the possibility of a child being forced by a crazy parent, or being kidnapped and forced into a situation by a nefarious adult is very real.

  • Reply to j

    It is a well-known fact that terrorists use children to carry bombs in the Middle East. It is also known that the terrorist purpetrators of the 9/11 attack were of Middle Eastern origin. It is also known that commercial airlines were utilized by those terrorists to carry out the attack.

    Unless I am missing something, it is purely logical that terrorists might make use of a child to accomplish the smuggling of a forbidden item onto a plane.

    It makes perfect sense; however, it does not mean that “sense” is common.

    It is likely that the next attack will occur when we have let down our defences. It really is that simple.

    • j

      I hear what you’re saying and if the “pat downs” were routine I would agree with you. But they’re just random-the child just happens to be the number picked. If there is reason to suspect, by all means. But it’s not like they still won’t be put through the screening process. And I don’t see a problem with making the child remove their shoes. A little delay for safety is something we have to expect these days

  • Proud Army Wife

    So now they will just used children as courier service for these terrorist. I say do whatever is necessary to be able to travel safely inside of our own country.

  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    Whinny ass kids under 12 are almost as bad as terrorists. Parents could give a rat’s a$$ & when one sits behind you & kicks the effin back of your seat during the flight you are likely to grab the little P……K by the scruff of his neck & stuff his loud mouth doen the toilet & flush it. Kids flying under 12 should wear muzzles & parents handcuffed because they would be more useful locked up.

    • OMG!

      Ummm….. Bernard, have you stopped taking your Prozac?

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