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TSA security, body scanners and metal detectors

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Beach bum, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    We traveled this past week and TSA gave us a hassle, insisting it was safer to go through the full body scanner than walking through the metal detector. Now, if you call Animas, they have a blurb while you are on hold saying do not put pump through x-ray or go through a body scanner. I've seen multiple articles stating that it's best not to go through the scanners.

    I've looked, but there is nothing new on this topic, so I assume it's correct to still say no and request a search???
     
  2. RomeoEcho

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    I always take the scanner when possible. I have seen no actual evidence that it's harmful, only some "we haven't studied it" and it makes the experience of flying much easier for me. I am an autistic frequent flyer, so pat downs are very difficult on me. For the metal detector, I need a full pat down. For the scanner, they only swab my hands and sometimes touch my leg. When I was on Medtronic, it did not set off the metal detector, then I preferred the metal detector.

    At this point, I think it's a personal decision since there isn't enough information to prove one way or the other. It is my opinion that there is no reason to believe that the scan would have any effect on electronics, and I've never seen any evidence that there is. If you'd rather have proof that it's not harmful, then you will have to have a full denial pat down.
     
  3. BittysMom

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    We just recently flew and all my prior reading pointed to metal detectors being okay, X-rays and body scanners a no-go. I printed out that info from both Animas and Dexcom sites in case of a hassle. At JFK we were ushered through the metal detector instead of the scanner without issue, and then they had Caroline rub her pump with her hands and they scanned for explosives. I had heard they sometimes do that, so wasn't surprised until it came back positive. They had a discussion at the Homeland Security booth, made a phone call and then came back and said she'd need to be patted down. It was a very mild pat down and none of her private parts were violated (I would have gone nuts) but I was taken aback nonetheless. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale they didn't even check her hands. You never know what grief you'll get I guess.
     
  4. valerie k

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    my dads pump went through several x rays, and a cat scan. It worked flawlessly for years. we still have it as a back up pump in case something goes wrong with matts pump. I would have matt disconnect and put it in the bucket for them to look at and he will just walk through the scanner like everybody else.
     
  5. MissMadisonsMom

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    We just spoke with the Medtronic rep last week and he brought up several 'do's and don'ts'. He said the manual says don't go through the body scanner only because there hasn't been extensive testing on the effects the scanner has on the pump. It's just like how many medications have the disclaimer that people with compromised immune systems (diabetes) should not take it - because it hasn't been tested specifically on individuals with diabetes. Madison has gone through dozens of scanners and xrays with no adverse effects. If they do spot her pod, she just has to rub it with a cloth they test for explosives. Piece of cake.
     
  6. hawkeyegirl

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    With the MM, we used to just cover his pump with his shirt and send him through the metal detector. Now, the t:slim sets off the metal detector, so we have to disclose that he has it on. Flying out of Sky Harbor last time, this meant a 15 minute delay as they did the explosives check on Jack, and then proceeded to practically strip-search my husband, in addition to doing the explosives check on every piece of electronics in my husband's carryon. (Laptop, e-reader, calculator(!), battery-operated toothbrush (!!!)) It took forever. I've been sort of stubbornly opposed to disconnecting Jack before that little experience, but now, I think that's what we'll do.
     
  7. RomeoEcho

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    MM definitely is easier than any other pump for airport security. If it's a metal detector, you walk through and nothing is any different. If it's a scanner, you get a two minute explosives check and done. Animas and Tslim are still fine on the scanner, but the metal detector has been anything from a quick swab, to a "thorough" pat down carefully checking all the "delicate bits" and a handwith underneath all edges of clothing. I find this very difficult, as my worst sensory issues are to touch and I fly frequently. It was almost enough to send me back to MM, and it's been almost enough for me to back down on my stand that pumps can't be disconnected. It would probably be fine most of the time. But if you get flagged for any reason, you are not allowed to touch your belongings for the duration of the search/investigation. A coworker of mine was detained in Heathrow for four hours, and was never given an explanation for why. If I were to be in a similar situation, under high stress, I would rather have my pump with me.
     
  8. RomeoEcho

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    Yes. The only thing that might be linked to problems with the pump is very strong magnetic fields. And even this hasn't really been proven. I'd avoid MRIs since the pump has metal in it in the first place. But xrays haven't been demonstrated to interfere with any other electronics, and there has been extensive data there. So there is no reason to believe that xrays are any more harmful than anything else, and the body scanners use lower levels than the baggage screeners anyway.
     
  9. obtainedmist

    obtainedmist Approved members

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    The language is this: "I prefer to opt out of any scanner or x-ray." You don't have to argue with the TSA, they know that everyone has the right to "opt out" and those ARE the magic words! :) We were told by Animas that if Molly went thorough the scanner or x-ray, they would not honor her warranty. We now plan on extra time at the airport for the body search and swabbing of the fingers and the pump. It is what it is!
     

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