The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, changing a policy that has unleashed widespread controversy and viral videos, says it will perform fewer pat-downs on young children at airport security checkpoints.
The decision, made by TSA Administrator John S. Pistole, was announced Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Associated Press reported.
In a change expected to be rolled out nationwide, Pistole said checkpoint workers will now be told to make repeated attempts to screen children without resorting to pat-downs, according to the report.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez wrote in an email Thursday that the shift was part of the agency's "ongoing effort to get smarter about security.... This decision will ultimately reduce -- though not eliminate -- pat-downs of children."