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Old 09-16-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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Flying with cold packs for breastmilk/formula

Does the TSA let through the gel frozen packs that cool breastmilk and formula? I see the allowances for baby food, formula, and breastmilk but haven't seen an allowance for how to keep it cold.

My experience is generally that TSA is pretty friendly if you are traveling with a baby but I haven't had the cold pack experience yet - has anyone?

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Old 09-16-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Flying with cold packs for breastmilk/formula

I've traveled with cold packs multiple times and never had an issue. However, TSA is HIGHLY variable. It all depends on the attitude of the worker that day and the training that particular TSA received.

I've heard of people having problems with cold packs or limits on breastmilk/formula, but I never have.

OTOH, my sis, with a T1 diabetic daughter, had an issue with TSA. She was ordered to dump half of the juice boxes she brought with her to treat potential low blood sugar, b/c the TSA agent decided it was not a "reasonable quantity". My sis ended up having to buy more on the plane (luckily the airplane had it in stock) or else her DD would be dead. Gotta love TSA agents who think they're medical doctors and can determine how much is "reasonable" with no knowledge of what that child needs/uses.

ETA: Yes, my niece had her diabetic bracelet on, my sis carried all her prescriptions and a dr's note listing the need for emergency snacks with KNOWN carb counts to treat emergencies, but they STILL ordered her to dump half of it.

This same thing CAN happen with cold packs/breastmilk/formula/babyfood, but it has never happened to me.

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Old 09-16-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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Re: Flying with cold packs for breastmilk/formula

I have a ton of baby food going with me and I am prepared to be firm but kind and argue my way through it. My son is 11 months and going through a really picky stage, plus he has some allergy on and off that is TBD and I don't want to be traveling with a diarrhea baby butt.

I know the variability of TSA agents - I had once threaten to take my epi-pen. I finally said, "fine, I'll write down your full name and phone my doctor and lawyer and since you are making a medical determination for me, you will be held legally responsible should anything happen."

He let me through with my epi-pen. It's totally a threat and I get that, but it was so frustrating. Hopefully we will get a good one.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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I was pulled to the side and asked about the ice packs, but they let it through once they knew the purpose. We are in Tulsa, though, and most people here are especially nice and respectful.

I decided not to bring back the 50+ oz I pumped while away from my baby, but I was questioned while leaving Mexico about my pump. I think electric pumps are rare there. All was fine then, as well.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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Re: Flying with cold packs for breastmilk/formula

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry Caterpillar View Post
I have a ton of baby food going with me and I am prepared to be firm but kind and argue my way through it. My son is 11 months and going through a really picky stage, plus he has some allergy on and off that is TBD and I don't want to be traveling with a diarrhea baby butt.

I know the variability of TSA agents - I had once threaten to take my epi-pen. I finally said, "fine, I'll write down your full name and phone my doctor and lawyer and since you are making a medical determination for me, you will be held legally responsible should anything happen."

He let me through with my epi-pen. It's totally a threat and I get that, but it was so frustrating. Hopefully we will get a good one.
My sis tried the same thing and was told that if she continued to make statements like that they would arrest her and neither she nor her daughter would be allowed to fly. Yes, she could have allowed herself to be arrested and she would have won the lawsuit that would have followed, but she needed to fly, so she dumped the juice boxes and prayed her DD wouldn't have any problems, then bought juice on the plane when her DD needed it to treat low blood sugar before she went into insulin shock.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Flying with cold packs for breastmilk/formula

I was told that as long as the ice packs are completely frozen they are fine. I traveled with ice packs many, many times and with pumped milk too. Never had a problem.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Re: Flying with cold packs for breastmilk/formula

I did have a problem once.... Not with the breastmilk, but with the cold pack because it wasn't frozen anymore! It was 'liquid' since it had melted (hello - we live 2 hrs away from the airport), but it still was cold! I have since limited taking my nice ones (you know the ones that are shaped to fit the bottles), but I haven't had another problem since - I think it probably depends on the agent too.
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