Air Travel with Your Child and Disabilities
Your child’s disability should not hinder your air travel plans. With proper planning, a family that has a child with disabilities can travel just like any other family. The tips shared here can help make your vacation enjoyable and less stressful.
Before leaving on your trip, explain to your child what they can expect at the airport. Tell them about starting at the ticket counter, then going through security, and finally the wait before boarding the plane.
If your child is in a wheelchair or uses a mobility aid, he will receive a pat-down. Role-play this with your child prior to leaving and it should cut down on his confusion.
Pack a carry-on of all the items your child may need for the flight. Include his favorite toys, a book, a snack or two, and other necessities.
Once you arrive at the airport, TSA has recommendations:
If your child has medical devices or special needs, tell the security officer. Inform the officer of your child’s abilities. For instance, will your child need your help getting through the metal detector or can he make it through on his own.
The screening process may upset your child. If you think this will happen, inform the officer. Also, offer suggestions as to how the officer can screen your child with minimal confusion or outbursts.
You will not be separated from your child during screening. Even if a private screening is required, you will be able to escort and stay with your child.
You, not the security officer, are responsible for taking your child out of his mobility aid for screening.
If your child cannot stand or walk, the officer will visually and physically inspect the mobility equipment and pat down your child.
Disabilities should not stop you from traveling with your child. For more information on traveling with a child with special needs, contact us and we would love to help you.
From Parents, Travel Writers,