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Are you and your family planning on taking a trip now or in the near future?  If so, there is a good chance that you all will be flying on airplane.  When traveling a long distance, especially with children, airplanes can be the CHECKINGquickest way to get to your destination.  However, when it comes to air travel rules and children, many parents are confused. Many of those parents mistakenly believe that their child is exempt from all air travel rules, including airport security checkpoints. Unfortunately, this is not true. 

If you are planning on traveling with your child, they will not receive a free pass. This means that they must undergo the exact same screening process as everyone else.  Although you will all be going through the same screening process, you will want to prepare for it a little bit differently. This preparation should not only be used to ensure that you and your family make it through the airport screening process, but that you and your family have a pleasant experience when doing so.SCREENING

The first step in preparing for air travel is explaining the air travel rules to your child or children. Depending on their age, this can be a fairly difficult task.  When explaining the screening process, it is important that your child knows they will have to enter the metal detectors.  If your child can walk, they are encouraged to go through them alone.  Although there is a good chance that the alarm will not sound, especially if you check their clothing before you leave; it could still be a fairly scary process.  In the event that the alarm on the metal detector does sound, your child will be pulled aside, just like everyone else. 

It is also important to talk to your children about what is allowed and what is not allowed on the airplane. For instance, there is a good chance that your child would like to take a drink with them. Recently, there was a ban ON FLIGHTimposed on liquids and carryon luggage.  While there are a few exceptions, namely baby formula, your child will likely have to go without a beverage, although they should be provided with one as soon as they board the plane.  It is also advised to let them know that some of their toys may need to be left at home. These toys may include ones that are large, have sharp objects, or appear as if they are real weapons. 

As previously mentioned, your child’s age is important when explaining air travel to them. You will find that most older children, including teenagers, completely understand everything LUGGAGEthat you are saving, but smaller children may not.  If you are afraid that your toddler does not comprehend what you are saying, it may be a good idea to arrive at the airport even earlier than recommended.  You should be able to stay off to the side and watch other passengers, especially those who are going through the screening process. This, along with a simple explanation, may help your child to see and understand what will happen to them later on. 

While you may not necessarily think about it, it is important that you make sure that your child understands that they are not to joke about having a bomb or any other weapon on an airplane.  Airport security, although it is a serious issue, has become a joke to many people, including some children. Your child may not have a weapon onboard and they may only make a comment with the intention of getting a laugh, there is a lot more that they could get. As previously mentioned, AIRPORTwhen it comes to air travel children receive the same attention as adults do. This means that if your child is overheard making a joke on the plane that may cause some security concerns; it is likely that your whole family, including your child, will be removed from the plane and detained by airport security, until the situation has been resolved. 

By keeping the above mentioned points in mind, you should not have any problems traveling with your child.  Even if you feel that your child is mature for their age, it is still a good idea to remind them of all air travel rules, not only for the sake of your trip, but for their own safety as well.

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