Security at an airport often causes the most complications, but there are other considerations to traveling with a prosthetic device. Read on to learn what you need to know before you go.
Helpful Tips for Traveling
It is helpful to know that any passenger traveling with a prosthesis has the right to be screened without removing it. Providing documentation of medical conditions, however, does not exempt any passenger from additional screening if it is required.
Pat downs, the metal detectors, and imaging tools are all ways in which passengers may be screened. Be prepared. TSA officers may ask you to lift clothing or remove a belt to see your prosthesis and/or test your prosthetic device via X-ray for harmful materials.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a help line called TSA Cares you can call to receive proper guidance on traveling with various needs, including travelers who have experienced limb loss.
When you are preparing to travel with a prosthesis, orthotic device, or other personal equipment, call TSA Cares up to 72 hours in advance for assistance. You can speak to a representative who can assist you with particular questions.
Tips Before the Trip
Just like you do with everything else before your trip, make sure your prosthesis is in good condition before you leave for your trip. You don’t want any problems while you’re trying to relax. Inspect your suspension. Make sure the straps are not frayed.
Make sure everything has been cleaned well with soap and a washcloth. Look at any liners to check for gaps that may need glue or tears that may need more than that. Also, check for any rust or loose screws.
What type of weather and environment will you be visiting? Depending on your destination, you may want to take a prosthetic skin for protection. Keep some extra prosthetic socks and socket liners with you as well. Duct tape and glue, if they are small enough, may be helpful to keep around as well in case you need to make some minor repairs along the way. Don’t forget any creams or ointments you may use for comfort as well as any prescribed medication. Plastic bags or ponchos can be helpful to have as well to protect from water and sand if need be.
In the end, the most important thing is keeping in contact with your trusted prosthetics professional. They can help you in case of any emergencies and can give advice on the proper care while traveling with a prosthesis.