Skip to content

The safest baby in the world

December 20, 2006

Another bonehead move by airport security was my first reaction to this story out of L.A. But on second thought, what kind of person would do this to their kid?

Baby in scanner container (courtesy, Anne Maddox...note: this baby was NOT scanned by the machine!)

At LAX, a one-month-old infant got a full-body scan courtesy of an airport security scanning machine, which x-rays people’s belongings as they go through the security portal. The infant’s Spanish-speaking grandmother wasn’t aware that the machine was not meant for infants.

Actually, according to an LA Times news graphic, the baby did not receive a substantial amount of radiation from the machine — no more than the average cross-country flight passenger gets hit with above the clouds.

The baby received a 1 millirem dose of radiation, while cross-country flight passengers receive 5 millirems. In comparison, a chest x-ray hits you with 10 millirems of exposure, and a mammogram would zap you with 30.

From the Times report:

“This was an innocent mistake by an obviously inexperienced traveler,” said Paul Haney, deputy executive director of airports and security for the city’s airport agency.

“This is only the second time in nearly 20 years that anyone can recall a traveler mistakenly putting an infant through an airport X-ray machine. Since then LAX has served more than 1 billion travelers without an incident of this type,” he said.

In 1988, an infant in a car seat went through an X-ray machine at LAX Terminal 4. Also that year, officials at Winnipeg International Airport in Canada accidentally sent a 2-month-old wrapped in blankets through an X-ray machine.

The TSA said it is continuing to review Saturday’s incident at LAX.

“We’re trying to figure out what changes we can make, short of putting up signs saying, ‘Don’t put your baby through the X-ray machine,’ ” Melendez said. “We’re trying to determine how we can make this not happen again.”

Of course, this will all be obsolete when we get the full-body scans as a matter of practice at airports, and we can all hum as we roll down the conveyor belt….

…”Car wash! … Workin’ at the car wash, yeah!” …

No hot wax please!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One Comment
  1. December 20, 2006 12:16 pm

    Wow; I, I have no words…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: