Just getting to the airport can sometimes be a tiring experience for parents and small children. From early departures, cranky babies and toddlers, juggling suitcases, snacks and toys, and managing check-in, some parents are exhausted by the time they reach the security checkpoint. To make security screening easier for you and your family, the following tips and advice should help.
When packing, try our Prep & Fly tool. This handy feature enables you to build a packing “to-do” list and offers some pre-made checklists for travelling families.
- If you are travelling with a baby under two years of age (0-24 months), bring baby food, formula, milk, water and juice, in reasonable amounts that will be required during your flight(s) and any connections. These are exempted from the liquids, aerosols and gels restrictions only if you are travelling with a baby under two years of age (0-24 months), however they must be presented to a screening officer for separate inspection.
- Passengers flying with or without their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml provided it is presented to the Screening Officer for inspection prior to screening.
- Prescription and essential non-prescription medicines are also exempt from the 100 ml volumetric restrictions that are in place for other liquids, aerosols and gels. When you reach the screening checkpoint, you’ll be asked to present these items to a Screening Officer for separate inspection. If you require a large amount with you for the duration of your trip it’s best to pack any excess not required during the flight in your checked baggage to save time during the screening process.
- Gel and ice packs are exempt from the restrictions on liquids when required to treat an injury or when used to used to refrigerate baby food, milk, breast milk, formula, water and juice for infants under 2 years of age (0-24 months), medically necessary items and medication.
- Pack toys for use in-flight in your carry-on baggage. It is also recommended to pack battery-powered toys in your carry-on, as some airlines have battery restrictions for checked baggage.
- Toys that look like real firearms or explosives should not be packed in carry-on or in checked baggage. These toys should simply stay home to avoid screening delays.
At the Screening Checkpoint
CATSA has to screen everyone, regardless of age, before they can exit the screening checkpoint. We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your baby or infant. The following will help you move through the screening process more quickly:
- Use Family and Special Needs lines, which are designed to facilitate the screening experience for parents with children. These lines are available at most major Canadian airports.
- Place your transparent, closed and resealable 1-litre plastic bag containing your liquids, aerosols and gels into a bin. If you are also travelling with exempted liquids, like medication, please remove them at this time and place them into the bin as well. CATSA recommends that the medication be properly labelled (professionally printed label identifying the medication or a manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label) to facilitate screening.
- Screening officers will need to inspect strollers, infant carriers and car seats. Ask the Screening officers for advice on what is the best approach for your child and his/her carrier. These inspections can be conducted while the infant/child is in the carrying device at parent’s request . Place any other child-related equipment (including diaper bags), on the conveyor belt for security screening.
- If you or your child has special needs, let the Screening Officer know and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance with mobility aids and carry-on items as you proceed with them through the security checkpoint. For most travellers with special needs, the following options for pre-board screening are available:
- Pass through the metal detector by yourself
- Bypass the walk through metal detector and be screened with a full body scanner or undergo a physical search.
- Documentation to support your medical needs or condition is not required; however, if you feel that it would help ease your screening, it should be presented to the screening officer along with your medically necessary items.
It is recommended that you make advance arrangements with your air carrier to transport battery-operated wheelchairs or mobility aids. Consult our Special needs Web page for additional advice.
- If your child can walk without your assistance, we recommend that you and your child walk through the metal detector separately. If you are carrying your child through the metal detector and the alarm sounds, a Screening Officer will have to further screen both you and your child.
- Finally, don’t forget to collect all of your belongings and those of your child before leaving the checkpoint.