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Security check from a child's perspective

1.3.2016 at 07:00
Today, many children are experienced travellers well used to going through security checks. Helsinki Airport's Terminal 2 offers a dedicated security check line for families travelling with children, which is open in the mornings and afternoons.

'The security check makes sure you don't pack anything not allowed on the aeroplane in your bags, like bombs, for example', explains Eemil Eskola (6 years old).

Eemil advises you to check your pockets beforehand for any forbidden things.

He is right: all objects, such as phones and keys, should be placed in a bag or the tray before the check to avoid them triggering alarms during the check.

Coats or jackets should be taken off for the X-ray gate, and belts often cause alarms, so they should be removed too. Toys will also go through the X-ray machine.

'Your things go through the tunnel and then they see from the computer if they have something forbidden in them. If there is, then they should be taken off and left at the check', confirms Sonja Kyttä (9 years old).

'You must take all electronics out of the bag and put them in the big box. Sometimes grown-ups even take off their shoes', Eemil continues.

Shoe heels can often contain metal and thus trigger an alarm in the X-ray; therefore, it's easier just to take them off beforehand.

Wait for the green light!

Eevi Taipale (9 years) reminds us that all liquids must be packed in bags. You can get a bag at the airport. All liquids you carry in the cabin must fit into a single 1-litre bag.

'Then you go through a gate. They check that no one is bringing any sharp things with them. If they have any, the gate beeps', Eevi says.

'You can't go through the gate before the light is green; otherwise you may crash with the person before you', cautions Pontus Purasmaa (5 years).

If the metal detector gate gives an alarm, an officer detects the reason by checking the passenger's clothing and body manually, or by using a special device. Even if you have placed all metallic objects on the tray, your clothes may contain metal that could trigger an alarm, such as buttons or bra wires.

A certain number of passengers are always inspected more thoroughly based on a random selection.

Sticks to search for explosive residues

Pontus has noticed that sometimes computers are swiped with special sticks.

These explosive residue indicators are used because of a European Commission regulation aiming to prevent terrorism. The new technology was adopted at Helsinki Airport and Oulu Airport at the end of last year.

Officers use the stick indicators to swipe passengers’ hand baggage and pocket openings, for example, to speed up security checks.

What to do at security checks 

What can I bring on a flight 

Tips for travelling with children