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No More TSA Pat-Downs for Kids

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Passing through airport security is a pain. Add children into the equation, and it can be a real nightmare. If you’re planning on traveling with your tots anytime soon and are already dreading the hassle, you’ll be happy to know that kids under 13 will no longer be required to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, reports the Associated Press. Er, most of the time, that is; some kids will occasionally still be required to go shoeless in order to keep airport security unpredictable.

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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano revealed the good news to Congress earlier this week. In fact, keeping kids in their sneakers is only one of several new changes that the Transportation Security Administration will be introducing in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, TSA introduced a modified pat-down for children 12 and under after receiving a number of traveler complaints. The agency plans to further reduce the number of pat-downs given to children by having the screeners send kids through metal-detectors or on multiple trips through the walk-through imaging machines in order to capture a clear picture. More explosive trace detection tools will also be used, such as hand swabs. And to facilitate all of these procedures, TSA screeners are being taught better ways to deal with and communicate with children.

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The new policies are being tested in select airports this week and are scheduled to be implemented everywhere by the end of the month.

Do you approve of these changes? Do you think this will make flying with your children easier, or at least less stressful?

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