There has been a lot in the news about problems people are having with the new TSA regulations, but this story hits home with me in a rather personal way. A three-year-old girl had to be separated from her teddy bear while the bear went through the baggage scanner, which got her upset. Then she had to be patted down while she was crying and screaming "Don't touch me! Stop touching me!" Heartbreaking, and in my opinion, almost totally unnecessary.
Obviously bears need to go through the scanner, and maybe her parents could have prepared her for that happening. But little people, ESPECIALLY three-year-olds, are not always rational. Her parents could have done a fabulous job preparing her for what was going to happen. Maybe it was naptime, or maybe she was hungry, or just overwhelmed. Regardless, the TSA agent could have handled this with more sensitivity. Little people need to be treated differently than grown-ups, and a one-size-fits-all everyone-must-suffer approach doesn't seem to be working out very well.
I know some people will say that if you're not prepared to deal with this, just don't fly. I'm willing to bet that those people don't have children AND family who lives on the other side of the country. We have members of our family who are physically unable to fly, and if we want our son to meet these family members (and if we want to see them ourselves), we have to fly. The husband can't take the kind of time off of work we would need to make a 6,000 mile round car trip. (If we're seeing both sides of the family, closer to 7,000 miles).
We'll likely be making a trip this summer to Los Angeles, and I will not be allowing my little guy to go through those full-body scanners. There is just too much unknown about how radiation affects a developing brain, and I don't want him taking any unnecessary risks with that kind of technology. It is one thing to get a medically necessary x-ray, but I don't believe the safety of air-travel is significantly compromised by not scanning our nation's small children.