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Change in airport pat-down policy for kids

The government has made a change in its airport pat-down policies for young children, and more changes may be on the way.

June 23, 2011 12:47:15 AM PDT
The government has made a change in its airport pat-down policies for young children, and more changes may be on the way.

Pat-downs have never exactly been popular with airline passengers, especially when it comes to children.

"The only time anybody should ever have their hands on your child is if they're doing a medical exam or if you're a parent," said parent Jennifer Toth.

TSA is coming up with more alternatives to the pat-down. In a statement released on Wednesday, TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said, "As part of our ongoing effort to get smarter about security, Administrator Pistole has made a policy decision to give security officers more options for resolving screening anomalies with young children."

The change in policy is expected to "ultimately reduce - though not eliminate - pat downs of children," according to the statement.

There was outrage around the country in April when a video was posted on YouTube of a TSA agent patting down a small girl in a New Orleans airport. She was patted down, John Pistole said, because she moved during the electronic screening, causing a blurry image.

That kind of pat-down was put in place partly because of the Nigerian man who got past airport security, boarded a plane with explosives hidden in his underpants and tried to use the bomb to bring down the airliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009.

But this screening has been criticized as being too intrusive and an unnecessary measure for children and older people who seem to pose no terror threat.

The agency is working on a modified pat-down for kids.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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