Prepare Your Children For Airport Security
For small children, new airport security measures are scary. In the innocent world of children, they can’t imaging someone would hurt them or their family. The strange sights of airport security can terrify them.
Not used to seeing people in uniforms carrying guns, some children might be afraid of the armed security guards. They might be afraid of walking through the metal detectors. They will wonder why all their things have to go through that ‘big x-ray machine’, or why mom and dad have to take their shoes off. They could even fear being taken away from their parents during security checks.
Parents need to be sensitive to the way a child’s mind and heart works and prepare the child well in advance of the trip.
Spend plenty of time talking with your child before your trip to the airport about what they will see and hear. Practice handing over beloved toys to go through a pretend scan. If possible, consider taking your child to a local courthouse or municipal building to go through the metal detector and see a security x-ray machine before your flight.
Explain to your child that the x-ray machine helps the security people make sure someone doesn’t sneak something dangerous on the plane. Tell your child these things help keep them, and everybody else on the plane safe.
Don’t discuss terrorist attacks or tell your child security are looking for bombs or guns. The harsh realities of air travel can be terrifying for adults, children are not equipped to handle the complexities of travel security today.
If security asks you to remove your shoes, tell your child that sometimes people try to take things on a plane that they’re not supposed to have, and taking off shoes is one way to help them be safe. Reassure your child the security people will give your shoes back.
By taking the time to talk with your child and practice going through security measures, you will alleviate your child’s fears and make the process easier for both of you.