Would you freak out if your three-month-old baby was frisked while going through airport security?
This dad did — and he happens to be a well-known Irish actor, Chris O’Dowd (of Girls and Bridesmaids fame). His baby son, Art, was patted down this week at England’s Gatwick Airport, and the security workers then threw the baby’s bottle in the trash.
O’Dowd vented his frustration to his more than 600,000 followers on Twitter, writing: “Thanks Gatwick security! Some might think body-searching a baby and binning his bottle was over zealous and weird, but not me! #ScaryBaby”
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Chris O’Dowd does not approve of baby-frisking. (Walter McBride/WireImage)
According to a spokesperson for Gatwick, “All passengers are subject to the normal security screening processes at the airport. When young babies come through security we ask parents to carry them. If the scanning equipment picks up something, we have to check both the parent and the baby,” the representative told the Daily Mail. “We always try to handle these searches sensitively. The restrictions around liquids are government requirements, and passengers are advised that when travelling with a baby, they are allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk, and sterilized water for the journey. In some cases this will be over 100 millilitres [or 3.4 ounces].”
It’s unclear how much liquid was in the baby’s bottle, or why a pat down was necessary.
Another celebrity experienced a similar incident earlier this month at Heathrow Airport in London. Security officials there seized Alyssa Milano’s breast milk, which she had pumped for her baby girl, Ellizabella, who was born in September.
Milano also took to Twitter, posting: “(1 of 2) @HeathrowAirport just took my pumped breast milk away. 10 ounces. Gone. Not okay.” According to Heathrow, in that case the issue was that Milano was carrying more than 3.4 ounces of the liquid without a baby in tow.
In the U.S., breast milk is exempt from the 3.4-ounces rule, because it is considered a medically necessary liquid.
WATCH: Alyssa Milano’s Airport Breast Milk Rant