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Health: Talking To Children About New Airport Screening

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File photo of a TSA employees examining an image created from a body scanning maching. (credit: AP)

File photo of a TSA employees examining an image created from a body scanning maching. (credit: AP)

stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The new airport security measures have some parents worried about kids going through scanners or being pat-down.

3 On Your Side Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl has some advice for parents.

The TSA says the new imaging scanners are safe for all passengers, including children, and that if a child has a pat-down it will be less thorough than what adults have. But many parents traveling this holiday weekend are concerned.

Neil Laufer and his family are traveling for Thanksgiving, and he’s worried how his 12-year-old son Josh will handle the new airport security.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate to have children be pat down,” said Neil.

Josh knows which one he prefers.

“I think you should just go through the scanner. That would be fine,” said Josh.

Full body scanners and pat-downs can be scary or embarrassing for kids, but parents can make the process easier.

“Say something like, we’re going through security and they do things to make sure that nobody brings on anything dangerous to the airplane. Just like we have smoke detectors and we have seat belts,” said Dr. Robin Goodman, a Psychologist.

Many parents tell their children not to let a stranger touch them, so many worry what to say if their child needs to undergo a pat-down.

“The way parents can describe this is by saying you’re going to be there, that these people have a particular job to keep people safe, just like doctors have a job, that they are allowed to examine children,” said Dr. Goodman.

Experts also say if your child has to have a pat-down, parents could ask the TSA agent to do it to them first, so it’s not so scary and unfamiliar for the child. And remember most airport security is still the old metal detectors.

Reported By: Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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