Planning to travel by airplane? One of the biggest worries for people with diabetes at the airport is handling security checks. What supplies can you take through security? Can you wear diabetes devices through security checks? The best way to handle these concerns is to be prepared.
Before you take off, here’s a closer look at some things you need to know to make airport security checkpoints easier.
1. Know what’s allowed
Diabetes-related medicines, equipment, and supplies are permitted through security checkpoints after inspection. But, it’s important to declare your items when you go through security.
A few examples of items that you can take through airport security include:
- Insulin and insulin pens
- Unused syringes (when accompanied by medicines like insulin)
- Insulin pump and pump supplies
- Blood glucose meters
- Blood glucose meter strips, lancets, meter-testing solutions, and alcohol swabs
- Urine ketone test strips
- Glucagon emergency kit
- Continuous blood sugar monitors
- A container for sharps disposals
- Any type of diabetes-related supplies, equipment, or medicines
2. Carry-ons over 3.4 ounces
People often ask, “Can I travel with diabetes medication over 3.4 ounces?” Yes. While airline passengers generally can’t bring liquids or gels in containers over 3.4 ounces through checkpoints, this doesn’t apply for items that are considered diabetes supplies.
You’ll need to remove and declare any medical liquids from carry-on luggage when you go through security. Don’t put them in the same bag as non-medical liquids.
Your insulin can go through x-ray machines safely. However, if you’re concerned, it’s fine to request a hand inspection. Remember, don’t put insulin in checked baggage. Changes in temperature and pressure could affect insulin. So, keep it in your carry-on.
3. Security checkpoints and wearable devices
Yes, you can travel with your continuous glucose monitors or insulin pumps. However, you should notify security personnel about these devices immediately. That way no one mistakes your devices for something hazardous.
Don’t send insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitors through x-ray machines. Keep them on your person. If you have extra devices in your bags, take them out and ask that they be hand-checked.
Although it’s usually okay to wear an insulin pump through a traditional arch metal detector, most pumps haven’t been tested with 360 full body scanners. In this case, ask for a regular pat down search instead. Keep in mind, security personnel may also want to swipe your device to test it, which is fine.
If at any time you feel like your rights are being denied, ask for the security control officer in charge.
4. Awareness cards
In some countries, you can ask the airport staff for a hidden disability lanyard or card or a medical device awareness card. These items notify security staff that some additional knowledge or assistance is needed when you’re going through security.
Have a safe flight!