10 Tips to Help Families Through Airport Security with Kids

airport security with kidsAirports will soon be buzzing with thousands of travellers getting ready to visit family and friends or simply to escape the cold weather. Regardless of your destination, you will have to go through airport security with kids.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has 10 tips to help you and your family breeze through the checkpoint.

10 Tips for Airport Security with Kids:

  1. Pack liquids, aerosols, and gels properly

Only liquids, aerosols, and gels that are 100ml or less are permitted in your carry-on. Place these items in a single 1L clear, resealable plastic bag so the screening officer can easily see the contents. Any containers over 100ml should be placed in your checked baggage.

       2. Know the age restrictions for baby food

Beverages and food (e.g. breast milk, formula, juice, purées) for children under the age of two are exempt from the liquid, aerosol, and gel restrictions. These items should be packed so that they can easily be removed from your carry-on baggage for inspection.

        3. Bring solid snacks for the family

While you can’t bring yogurt or peanut butter, you can carry solid food items, such as sandwiches, granola bars, and fruit through security when travelling within Canada. You can also bring an empty refillable drink container to refill once you pass through security.

      4. Have medications ready for inspection

Prescription and essential non-prescription medications (e.g. cough syrup, decongestant spray, contact lens solution) are allowed. You can bring them in quantities greater than 100 ml in your carry-on but you must show these items to the screening officer for inspection.

        5. Leave gifts unwrapped

If you’re bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped as their contents may need to be inspected. During the holidays, some airports offer post-security gift wrapping service.

       6. Keep small electronics in your carry-on

Bringing your children’s electronic games and tech for toddlers is a good way to keep them busy at the airport. Small electronic items, including MP3 players (e.g. iPod) and tablets, can remain in your carry-on bag.

        7. Dress comfortably

Make sure you and the little ones can easily remove any bulky outwear including winter jackets and boots with large buckles. These items must be placed in bins provided at the checkpoint for screening.

        8. Use the Family/Special Needs lane
Check if the Family/Special Needs lane is available when you arrive at the checkpoint. It’s designed to accommodate larger items (e.g. strollers, car seats) and is best for passengers needing more time or help at the checkpoint.

       9. Have your boarding passes ready

Remember to have all family members’ boarding passes ready to present to the screening officer for verification.

       10. Contact CATSA if you have questions

If you need more information, CATSA can be contacted directly at 1-888-294-2202 or via:


Many thanks to CATSA for sponsoring this post. All opinions remain my own.

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8 Responses to 10 Tips to Help Families Through Airport Security with Kids

  1. Rachel at #

    We have successfully brought squeeze packets of peanut butter through the TSA PreCheck line in the U.S. (like these http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00GD4QB6E/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?qid=1449338043&sr=8-7&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=peanut+butter+and+co&dpPl=1&dpID=51svhgBlIEL&ref=plSrch) I’m not sure if we just got lucky or if they are okay since they are under the liquid allowance. They live in our toddler’s diaper bag so I often forget they are in there.

    • Corinne at #

      These are great! They are probably allowed because they are under the liquid allowance. But how cool!

  2. Helpfulness and professionalism of security staff varies highly. On the Frankfurt end, personnel are accomodating, patient and helpful across the board. On the US end, it’s Russian roulette what kind of experience you’ll have.

  3. Stacey at #

    I always feel sorry for people going through security with families, it’s such a hassle I can barely get my self through! Great tips.

  4. Traveler at #

    thank you for list.

  5. Traveling with kids indeed involves a lot more planning and packing; these are some really amazing tips for avoiding hassles at the airport security checkpoints. I would definitely keep these tips in mind during my next visit. Thank you for making this list for the readers!

  6. Natalie at #

    Great tips! I find preparing the kids before they go helpful, especially regarding stuffed animal lovey that has to be take away and put through the x-ray machine. At home we practice by putting the stuffed animal under a laundry basket.. It helped calm nerves about that moment! They are much bigger now though!

  7. Even though I’m an adult, I always feel bad for folks trying to get their whole families through airport security. Awesome advice.

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