New Airport Security Rules for Kids under 12: Shoes Stay On and Fewer Pat-downs

by  Liz Webber | Sep 14, 2011
TSA security checkpoint
TSA security checkpoint / PhonlamaiPhoto/iStock

Following up on last week’s announcement that the days of taking off your shoes in the airport security line are numbered, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress yesterday that the TSA will institute new policies at airport security checkpoints for children under 12. In the coming months, kids will no longer have to take off their shoes to go through security, and overall will be subjected to fewer pat-downs. The new procedures are part of efforts to take less time scrutinizing “low-risk” passengers so the TSA can increase focus on those that could pose a security threat, Napolitano said. A widely publicized video last April of a 6-year-old receiving a rigorous pat-down prompted calls for changes to how the TSA treats children. Napolitano cautioned that all passengers, regardless of risk level, may be subjected to random checks, but overall we’re happy to hear airport security will soon be less intrusive for kids.

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