Baby food airport security canada

Air travel with children -

This page provides information on flying with children, including what to pack in carry on baggage, going through security screening and using child restraint systems (car seats) on board the aircraft.

On this page

  • Travelling with children under 2 years old
  • Child restraint systems
  • Children travelling alone
  • Carry-on baggage
  • Security screening

Travelling with children under 2 years old

For the safety of both adults and children, the Canadian Aviation Regulations require that no passenger can be responsible for more than 1 infant (child under the age of 2).

If you are travelling with children under the age of 2, a passenger must accompany each of your children, even if you buy seats for them.

Child restraint systems

Although children under 2 years old may be held in your arms during a flight, Transport Canada highly recommends that you use an approved child restraint system (car seat) for all legs of the flight. Car seats are designed to different standards than aircraft seats, so they may work differently and fit differently in planes. Any car seat intended for use on board an aircraft must have a statement of compliance label that shows it meets the applicable design standard and the date it was made.

The use of a car seat provides the best protection for the infant or child and minimizes the effects of unanticipated turbulence. Using a familiar car seat will make your child more comfortable, and you can also use it when you reach your destination. 

If you decide to use a car seat, always:

  • check with your airline for its specific policies
  • follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions
  • tighten the aircraft seat belt through the correct path on the car seat
  • secure straps out of the way since tether straps cannot be used on board the aircraft

The following devices are not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft:

  • Booster seats (for older children who have outgrown their car seat)
    • Not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft, as they are designed to be used with a car lap and shoulder belt
  • Child vests and harnesses, infant carriers and other similar carriers
    • Not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft, as they may not be used when the aircraft is moving on the ground, during takeoff and landing or when the safety belt sign is on
  • "Belly" or "loop" belts, which are intended for infant use and are attached to an adult’s safety belt by feeding the adult’s belt segments through a loop on the infant’s belt
    • Not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft, as they could injure the infant in case of an accident

Child car seat safety

Child restraint systems and other seating devices

Children who are travelling alone

If your child is travelling alone, contact the airline in advance to ask if someone from the airline will escort and supervise your child from check-in through arrival, and if there are any restrictions such as age limits.

Ensure that the person who brings your child to the airport stays at the airport until the flight has departed and that the person who is picking up your child at the point of arrival has appropriate identification and authorization.

A child who travels alone or without 1 of their parents or guardians should have a consent letter signed by the parents or guardians who are not accompanying the child.

Carry-on baggage

You are permitted to pack the following items in your carry-on baggage:

  • Breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml, even if you are flying without your child
  • Gel and ice packs to refrigerate breast milk or medically necessary items and medication that need to be refrigerated (as indicated on the label or a medical note)
  • When travelling with a child under 2 years of age, you may also pack:
    • baby food, formula, medications, milk, water and juice
    • gel or ice packs to keep your baby products cool

Check with the airline before you travel. Some items cannot be used during taxi, takeoff, landing or when directed by a crew member.

Carry-on baggage (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)

Security screening

Planning is important when you fly with young children. A little strategic planning can make the flight a more pleasant experience for you, your children and other travellers.

Check if the family and special needs lane is available. Place infant carriers and other child-related items, including diaper bags, on the conveyor belt for security screening. Strollers need to be inspected separately.

Present all liquids to a screening officer for separate inspection.

Let your child walk through the metal detector. If your child is not able to do so alone, you can hold them in your arms as you walk through the metal detector.

Airport security screening – Families (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)

Related links

    • Children and travel
    • Travelling with children (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)
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Families | CATSA | ACSTA

The section offers tips on how to pack items for babies and young children, what to do at the screening checkpoint, and if needed, how to travel with the family pet.

Travelling with Children

Packing for Your Trip:

  • If you are travelling with an infant younger than two years of age (0-24 months), you can bring baby food, milk, formula, water, juice and other baby items in your carry-on baggage.
  • Certain powders and granular materials (e.g. baby powder) in your carry-on are limited to a total quantity of 350 ml or less.
  • Gel and ice packs can be brought on board, if they are being used to refrigerate baby food, milk, breast milk, formula, water or juice for infants younger than two years of age.
  • Passengers flying with or without their child can bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml provided it is presented to the screening officer for inspection prior to screening.
  • Any exempted liquids, such as medications, baby formula or breast milk, should be packed so that they can easily be removed from carry-on baggage for inspection. However, we recommend that these items be properly labeled (manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label identifying the medication).
  • You can pack toys in your child’s carry-on baggage, but leave toys that look like weapons (e.g. water guns, toy grenades, etc.) at home.

Did you know? 

Solid foods such as apples, granola bars or sandwiches can be packed in your carry-on as a snack on the plane. See Travelling with Food Items for more detail.

At the Screening Checkpoint:

  • When you arrive at the checkpoint, check if the Family/Special Needs lane is available. This lane features screening equipment that can accommodate larger items, and screening officers who offer additional assistance to passengers needing more time or help with their belongings to get through security.
  • Screening officers will need to inspect strollers, infant carriers and car seats.
  •  All baby food or drinks, including formula, must be presented to the screening officer for inspection.
  • Children’s carry-ons, including diaper bags, should be placed on the conveyor belt for security screening.
  • Keep any MP3 players (e.g. iPods), portable handheld game consoles, tablets and smartphones in your carry-on.
  • Let your child walk through the metal detector if they are able to do so on their own.
  • Please don’t hand your child to a screening officer while you go through security. 

Travelling with Animals

  • Contact your airline in advance to find out about their policy for passengers travelling with pets.
  • Let the screening officer know that you are travelling with your pet. 
  • All passengers travelling with animals must undergo explosive trace detection (ETD) testing.
  • A screening officer will offer to conduct the screening of your animal in a private search room.
  • Whether you stay at the checkpoint or go to a private search room, you will need to remove your pet from its carrying case and remove any items attached to your pet (except collars and harnesses).
  • You will need to keep your pet under control during screening.
  • After the screening of your pet, its carrying case and any other items is complete, you will need to put your pet back in its carrying case.

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