Child enters airport x-ray machine: How to manage children at the airport

Child enters airport x-ray machine: How to manage children at the airport

The security officers probably weren't expecting this in their scan.

For parents with little children, the airport can be a busy, stressful mess. You have to worry about your luggage, your passport, getting to your gate on time, passing through immigration AND handling your little ones. So, sometimes you might take your eye off your child for a split second and within that moment, something could happen. Just like this recent case in China has shown: what do airport scanners detect when a child passes through it.

What do airport scanners detect: Child passes through x-ray scanner, unharmed

An video of an astonishing scene in a Chinese airport has surfaced recently. According to, the recording captured the instant a child entered an X-ray machine for checking baggage when his dad lifted momentarily lifted his eyes off him.

what do airport scanners detect

What do airport scanners detect: A child climbs onto the x-ray scanner at an airport and is detected on the security monitor. | Source: YouTube

The short, 48-second video, clearly shows the dad passing through the security screening, before walking back, puzzled that his son wasn’t behind him. 

what do airport scanners detect

Man wonders where is son after taking his eyes off him for only a short moment. | Source: YouTube

The subtitle in the video, saying “Where is my son?”, clearly shows the dad’s confusion of his missing son. He then walks back through to the security gate to search for the child. Thankfully, his son can soon be seen riding the conveyor belt out of the X-ray machine, unharmed. 

what do airport scanners detect

If you’re wondering what do airport scanners detect, humans are definitely detectable. | Source: YouTube

Airport staff verified that they did indeed see the child going through the X-Ray machine after an X-Ray image of him appeared on the monitor.

A thread in Quora has unveiled that airport scanners are indeed safe. If you’re wondering what do airport scanners detect, it uses ionising radiation to detect what goes through, but its power “is too low to cause any effect on the human body”.

Watch the shocking video by CGTN below:

Not the first incident

Cases of people entering the airport’s X-Ray baggage scanner aren’t unheard of.

For example, in February this year, a Chinese woman also climbed into an X-Ray scanner as she didn’t want to be separated from her handbag.

Apparently, her handbag wasn’t scanned at first. It was only after her larger belongings were scanned that airport staff advised her to put in the handbag. In response, the woman put her purse onto the machine’s conveyor belt, before hopping onto it herself.

The reason? The woman wanted to keep the bag and its contents safe. While we aren’t unsure what was inside the bag, it was probably thick wads of cash which are usually gifted during Chinese New Year.

Watch the video of the incident below:

How to effectively handle children in airports

Going through the airport with your kids can be a hassle. We’ve outlined some tips to handle kids when travelling or flying in our previous articles. Here, we’ve distilled them so that you can breeze through the hustle-and-bustle of the airport!

Child enters airport x-ray machine: How to manage children at the airport

Keep your child close at all times while travelling at the airport and do not take your eyes off them. Airports are huge and messy and dangerous if the right precautions are not taken to ensure your child’s safety.

  • Keep them in sight and don’t let them wander. Never let your child run, walk around or crawl in the airport. Keep them by your side because they might either get lost or get into places they’re not supposed to enter – like the x-ray machine.
  • Bring plenty of toys and food. Activities like rattles, toy cars are sure to keep your little toddler entertained during any waiting periods or downtime. As for food, keeping your toddler fed with their favourite snack can soothe them from their usual tantrums.
  • Pass through security like a pro. Ensure your child is wearing shoes and overcoats that are easy to take on and off. Security is a strict matter in airports and sometimes you may need to remove shoes, coats and bags to be placed in X-ray machines.


References:, YouTube (1, 2)

Also read:

Man hits crying child on an airplane – Air travel with kids

11 Tips when you’re flying with children

Top health and safety rules to remember when flying with a baby

How to survive a plane ride with kids

Tips for flying with a toddler: A mum’s tips for easier plane rides with kids

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