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Airport security and the pump

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by KyleBugsMom, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. KyleBugsMom

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    I haven't flown in 15 years...much less since Kyle's dx. What do I need to know about getting through airport security with a pump?
     
  2. hawkeyegirl

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    At O'Hare and Sky Harbor (the two airports we fly into and out of most frequently), I don't even tell them about his pump anymore, because they simply don't care. If they wanted him go through the special scanner dohickeys, I'd tell them then, because you're not supposed to do that with pumps and sensors, but he just sails through the metal detectors with no issues. I do tell them that he has diabetes supplies in his bag, and they always look at me disinterestedly and say, "Okay."

    At the two smaller airports that we fly into and out of, I tell them about his pump. Sometimes they ignore it, and sometimes they do the thing where they have him touch it and then scan his hands for explosives. It's no biggie - he actually thinks it's cool.

    ETA: They can't make him take it off, but personally, that's not a cross that I'd choose to die on. If some stupid TSA was pitching a fit about his pump and it would get us through security faster to have him disconnect and let them hand inspect the thing, I'd do it, and write a letter of complaint after our trip was over. People's opinions on that may vary, but it's what I'd do. That being said, insulin pumps are so common these days that I'd say the odds of that happening are very small.
     
  3. sammysmom

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    The special scanners, the full body ones, can the pump be on for that?
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    I think I've read that the pump manufactures say no, but that people have done it with no consequences. Personally, I'd either have him disconnect or I'd ask for the pat down. (Probably the pat down, as I would not disconnect his sensor.)
     
  5. gerry speirs

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    I agree with Hawkeye, we just came back from Europe and they weren't bothered with the pump or the giant bag 'o supplies but they were interested in the liquids- water and juice. Next time I'll just grab some juice when I get through security.
     
  6. sammysmom

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    What if my son is wearing a sensor. Does he still go through the metal detector machine or full body scanner. I have not flown for a while! We are leaving next week. He has MM. I really do not want to disconnet the sensor.
     
  7. NeurosurgeryNP

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    MM says no to the full body scanner. Metal detector OK. If I was ever directed to the full body scanner I would opt out ant get the pat down.
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

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    I agree with this. Metal detector is fine for pump and sensor. I wouldn't do the body scanner with either.
     
  9. monkeyschool

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    I dont know if this has anything to do with what you are asking or if your question applies exclusively to pump damage, but I figured I'd mention it since I had no clue prior to our pump last week.....the endos office will give you a form to travel with for clearing security should any issues arise, especially when traveling to a foreign country. One of the parents at our pump class asked this and was also told no highly magnetic devices around the pump. The instructor said that even things like roller coasters for instance can also have a magnetic impact on the pump.

    No idea how much magnetism is too much or how airport security devices are rated :-(
     
  10. funnygrl

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    I'm completely with Karla on this one. I fly a decent amount and it has never been an issue. I haven't been asked to go through a total body scanner yet. I just walk through the metal detectors. Either they don't see it at all, ask if it's an insulin pump, or ask if it's a cell phone. When the last thing happens I tell them it's a pump and they just say, "Oh, okay." I don't tell them about my supplies in my bag. The only place I've had anyone ask about my supplies was in 2002 in New Zealand customs when they thought my glucagon kit was an epi pen. I couldn't explain to them that it wasn't, but it didn't matter.

    I bring fruit snack and tabs to treat lows, since bringing juice isn't, as Karla put, "a cross I choose to die on." If I'm thirsty, I'll get a drink on the plane or buy one inside security. I've never had my insulin questioned. The first time I flew since they instituted the liquid law I put it in a baggie. The TSA officer was like, "Uhm, don't need to do that with insulin." Haven't done it since.
     
  11. Beach bum

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    We will tell the xray person that diabetes supplies are in the bag (to avoid problem with juice and syringes). They have always said, fine, thanks for alerting us.

    We usually just say, she's wearing a pump, and every time, except one, the agent has said, send her through and lets see what happens. One agent in Ft. Myers actually fist pumped when it didn't go off, and was like YES!!!

    In LAX they have the full body scanner, and it was a PITA. Instead of sending us through the usual security, they made us stand to the side. Then an agent who had a clue was like why are you waiting, I said we can't use the scanner, and he was like yes, but you can walk through and can be pat down. My response was, that's what I was trying to tell the other person. So, it was more inexperience than how it's implemented.

    IMO, don't make to big of a deal. If an alarm sou nds, then tell them about the pump.
     
  12. Charliesmom

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    I don't know what it is, but Charlie's pump has always set of the alarms on the xray machine and has had to go through the pat down. I have a large zippered cosmetic bag that opens like a book with pockets on both sides that I use for supplies. That way if they want to look at supplies then it's easy to pull out of my backpack. I always have a letter of necessity from Endo but have never had to use it.
     
  13. swimmom

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    We travel frequently and it's not a problem. They scanned Lauren's hands the last couple of times. England didn't like us to take more than 2 juice boxes, but that's never been an issue in the U.S. They really didn't like the little snack sized "To Go" peanut butter cups the one time I tried to bring those (not a liquid or a solid - TSA was freaked out by those in the bag). Lauren tends to get high on planes, so I try to bring non-carb stuff.
     
  14. frizzyrazzy

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    We had no trouble in both providence and orlando - I just had the insulin and juice boxes in a separate bag and anything sharp in another bag and I pulled those out of my carry on and left everything else in the carry on. At PVD I mentioned his pump they asked if the pump usually set off the metal detector and I said no and off he went with no trouble. At MCO I didn't even mention the pump.

    It was a complete non issue.

    Only issue we had was one day entering one of the disney parks when the bag checker asked dh why there was no insulin in the bag with a bag full of diabetes 'junk'. Also said we were the second person from MA through that day with diabetes. Like it was a conspiracy or something. lol.
     
  15. sammysmom

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    Well it sounds like it should be pretty easy then. I think with one teenager, 2 kids with diabetes and a baby that just learned how to screech, the baby is going to cause more problems then diabetes at the airport! LOL
     
  16. McKenna'smom

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    Here's my experience from flying through Sky Harbor in May. My DD has an Animas Ping. My DH told the TSA agent that she was wearing an insulin pump. DD proceeded to go through the metal detector, which did not beep. Once DD was through, the agent told her to stand aside. She told my DH that he could not touch her or make eye contact with her. After we gathered our belongings, she told us to follow her to a separate area. The agent then proceeded to have my DD touch her pump with both hands, and then she swabbed them. She then asked to see her bags (not the D supplies) and went through everything. She then swabbed every charger, camera, and DS game. She also went through every journal and notebook that my DD had in her backpack and even commented on her drawings. After she cleared us, we were free to go. She did NOT pat down my DD, for which I am thankful.

    I should add, however, that flying back, we weren't going to tell TSA that she was wearing a pump, however, my DH was afraid of getting "caught" and being detained, so he proceeded to talk to TSA before we went through. TSA told him to leave the pump on and there "may" be further screening. My DD went through the metal detector, again no alarm, we picked up our bags and we were free to go with no further screening. Go figure.

    My advice is not to tell TSA that he is wearing a pump. You are under no obligation to do so. Deal with if it sets off the alarm, otherwise, don't worrry about it.
     
  17. kimmcannally

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    Oy! Good thing we have no plans to fly. I can't imagine what J would do if he was told he wasn't allowed to touch me or make eye contact. It would either go really well or he would have a total meltdown.
     
  18. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    I've learned to turn the sensors off for going through security and flying, Medtronic does advise you to keep it off, and for me, it just doesn't work properly when flying, the numbers become very irratic. I have set the alarms off when I wore the Guardian through security in Los Angelos, so i just don't anymore. There's no disconnect, just restart when we land.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  19. hawkeyegirl

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    Actually, Medtronic now says it's fine to leave on. They even have a little card on the website that you can print out to show that the FAA has cleared its use on the plane. We never have inaccuracy with it when flying, and we fly a lot.

    On an unrelated note, I'd be more likely to disclose my son's pump to security if he wore an Animas. They're more likely to set off the metal detector. The MM pump/Guardian shouldn't set it off at all.
     
  20. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    We flew to Palm Desert in March, and boy did the flight affect the numbers on the Veo, (I decided to turn it on) My numbers were perfectly normal(meter match) with the Veo on the ground.
     

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