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Kids at the Airport

Kids at the Airport

Flying with children is always trying, but there are ways to make it less stressful.

By FamilyTime

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If you plan to fly this summer with the kids, prepare well in advance. This is particularly true if your children are newcomers to the glorious world of air travel.

Talk about the trip fairly often. Flying is exciting and your job is to ensure that the children are not frightened about the prospect. Answer any questions straightforwardly. If you are afraid of flying, try not to convey this to the kids.

Before the Flight

Let the kids know what will happen in the security line. Tell them that they will have to take off their shoes, jackets, and backpacks and put them through the x-ray machine. Assure them that they will get them back.

Urge your kids to wear slip-on shoes and loose clothing without a lot of zippers and belts. Check what they pack in their backpacks and remove anything that might cause suspicion, such as a water gun.

Explain to the children that they will have to walk through the metal detector by themselves, but that you will be right behind them. If you plan to travel with a baby, you will be able to carry the infant through the detector.

If you are alone and traveling with several children, you might want to make plans for a private security check. Call well ahead about this to arrange it with the airline.

The children may ask why all this security is necessary and while you should tell them it’s just a safety precaution, remind them, too, that it’s no laughing matter. They should not joke around with the security officers. No comments about guns and bombs!

At the Airport

When you and the kids get to the checkpoint, make sure they are ready to shed outer garments, backpacks, and shoes. Push the baby in a stroller that is easy to fold; you will have to do so to put it through the x-ray machine.

Remove all items from the pockets of the stroller and other baby carriers. Put them in a plastic bin for the x-ray machine.

Stand behind the kids as they march through the metal detector. Remind them to wait for you on the other side.

Carry a baby through the metal detector. Never hand the baby to someone else in line and don’t hand him to the security officer. The officers are trained to handle the situation with care and respect and not to frighten the youngster.

Take formula, breast milk and other things the baby needs. The three-ounce rule does not apply for these things but it’s a good idea to check with the airline well ahead of time. Be sure, too, to bring diapers and extra clothes.

If any of your kids need medication, let the security officer know as well as the flight attendants on the plane. Carry it in a plastic bag. It’s always a good idea to have a note from the pediatrician, too.

At the Gate

Keep your kids well in hand before boarding. Just as their behavior is your responsibility on the plane, so is it on the ground. Don’t let them race around the chairs and disturb other passengers. If they have to blow off steam — not a bad idea — find an open hallway for some running around.

Try to find time for the kids to use the rest rooms before boarding, too.

Getting through the airport isn’t easy these days, even for single adults traveling alone. When you have small children in tow, it’s an obstacle coarse. Try to travel with another adult, but if you can’t, being prepared is the next best option.

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