Traveling with Diabetes - Laws and Policies
American Diabetes Association.
Getting the Most out of Diabetes Camp: A Guide for Parents and Kids. Along with anecdotes and stories from campers, Getting the Most Out of
Diabetes Camp covers topics such as why go to a diabetes camp, is your child
ready, which camp is best for your child, what to expect, what not to expect,
how to evaluate your child's experience, and more.
Laws and Regulations Affecting Persons Traveling with Diabetes Care Devices
Airport Security Guidelines from the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)
Know your rights:
- Notify the transportation safety official (TSO) that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with
you (see more information below).
- Advise TSOs if you are experiencing low blood sugar and are in need of
- You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and
diabetes associated supplies. See the Medication section on the TSA website for details.
The following diabetes-related supplies and equipment are allowed through
the checkpoint once inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed:
- Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual
vials, jet injectors, infusers, preloaded syringes, and insulin inhalers.
- Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other
- Lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol
swabs, meter-testing solutions.
- Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic
tubing, infusion kit, catheter, and needle).
- Glucagon emergency kit.
- Urine ketone test strips.
- Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal
container or other similar hard-surface container.
- Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for
storing used syringes and test strips.
- Insulin in any form or dispenser must be clearly identified.
If you are concerned or uncomfortable about going through the walk-through
metal detector with your insulin pump:
- Notify the TSO that you are wearing an
insulin pump and would like a full-body pat-down and a visual inspection of your
- Advise the TSO that the insulin pump cannot be removed because it is
inserted with a catheter (needle) under the skin.
- Insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin.
The Rhode Island Department of Health
This site offers the following travel information for diabetics (the site also contains extensive and useful advice and tips on traveling with diabetes including how to adjust your insulin dose):
Since September 11th 2001 the Federal Aviation Administration has had to make
security changes in order to secure passengers' safety in the skies. These
changes have had a great effect on those traveling who have diabetes or other
What are your rights?
The Air Carrier Access Act
(ACAA) was designed to protect those with disabilities from being treated
unfairly. Regarding "carry-ons", one may carry the following:
- Syringes with proper medical documentation (see "Document all prescriptions" section
below) indicating that these are "required"
- A bag for medical equipment -- this does not count as a "carry-on" piece of
- One additional piece of luggage.
If for any reason one feels unnecessarily harassed or denied the
right to carry important medical equipment, they should ask to speak to the
security manager and the problem can be resolved.
What is the traveler's responsibility?
- Document all
prescriptions. It is easiest
to bring the boxes your insulin or medicine came in, since the original labels
prove the medication belongs to you. Other receipts or the hand-written
prescription cannot be used. Cap all lancets & have an identifiable
glucometer. Lancets may be brought on board for testing blood
glucose levels, as long as they are capped. A glucose meter must accompany the
lancets with a permanent manufacturer's name (i.e. "One Touch" ) embossed on it.
- Glucagon kit in original box. A brand new
glucagon kit with the original pharmaceutical label and box container can be
included in medical bag (box must remain intact) for the trip back.
- Check with airline for other
requirements. It is recommended that the traveler check's with
individual airlines prior to flights to see if they have other requirements for
the trip. These rules only apply within the 50 United States. If one is
traveling outside of the United States it is recommended that they call
the foreign embassy of the country visiting and find out about any legal
restrictions. The contact information for most foreign embassies can be found at
See our "Tips for Traveling with Diabetes" for ideas how to make your trip easier and safer.