The TSA may have lots of problems (drug dealer-enabling agents, for one) but at least they are trying to better themselves? Not only is the Administration now forgoing porno scanners for less-racy cartoon versions but yesterday, while testifying before Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano threw a bone to the many parents who are wary of flying with their wee ones. Soon enough kids under 13 will no longer have to take off their shoes and will not be subject to pat-downs when going through security. Progress!
The changes will be rolled out in the coming months and Napolitano warns that the new rules may not always be the case depending on current threats (this is the TSA we're talking about). “There will always be some unpredictability built into the system, and there will always be random checks even for groups that we are looking at differently, such as children,” she said. But now there will much less child-grabbing. And that's a good thing.
Beyond being able to keep their shoes on, children will soon be allowed to walk through metal detectors multiple times rather than being immediately sent for a pat-down. Further, the TSA will have to the option to check kids hands for explosive residue rather than pat them down.
But again, these changes are going to be coming to airports slowly over a few months. So it is still a good idea if you are planning on travelling with tots to try and review the TSA's tips—if only to help the rest of us get where we are going with less hassle.