Video: TSA defends pat-down of 8-month-old baby

By Senior Travel Editor
updated 5/11/2011 9:59:17 AM ET 2011-05-11T13:59:17

A photo posted on Twitter of a baby receiving a pat-down at Kansas City International Airport is the latest in a number of recent highly publicized incidents of airport security screenings involving young children.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

The photo taken by Kansas City pastor Jacob Jester on Saturday and posted on Twitter has been viewed nearly 300,000 times.

"I really didn't stop to think about what would happen," Jester told msnbc.com. "I just snapped a picture."

Jester said he was traveling to Albuquerque on Saturday when he noticed the woman behind him was traveling with a baby about the same age as his son. He had just passed through security when he looked back and saw the baby receiving the pat-down.

"My thinking was, this is an extreme measure. I wouldn't want that to happen to my own son," Jester said.

Jester, who said that he doesn't know the woman and her baby, snapped a picture with his phone and posted it on Twitter. "Just saw #tsa agents patting down a little baby at @KCIAirport. Pretty sure that’s extreme.”

The Transportation Security Administration posted a response on its blog: "We reviewed the screening of this family, and found that the child’s stroller alarmed during explosives screening. Our officers followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family after the alarm, who by the way were very cooperative and were on the way to their gate in no time."

TSA screeners are instructed to use a modified pat-down for children 12 and younger, according to the agency's website.

The latest incident follows recent highly publicized complaints over airport security screening procedures, including an 8-year-old boy who received a pat-down at Portland International Airport and parents upset after their six-year-old was frisked in New Orleans . Former Miss USA Susie Castillo also recently filed a complaint with TSA , claiming in a video that went viral that she felt "violated" after her groin area was touched four times during a security screening.

Jester said that he has great respect for the TSA and their efforts to keep the flying public safe.

"I'm not out to embarrass the TSA," Jester said. "But I do believe there has to be a line drawn. I do not believe that an 8-month-old constitutes a security threat."

© 2012 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments