Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:35 am on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Laura Trott Laura Trott Conservative, Sevenoaks 9:35 am, 16th October 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention. The scope of the Bill is England. It focuses specifically on the lack of protections for under-18s. The absence of a legal age limit for botox and for dermal fillers means that any 15-year-old could walk into a shop and get their lips injected by someone with no qualifications whatever. Despite the proven health risks and implications for psychological wellbeing, young people can legally access invasive cosmetic procedures on the commercial market or in their homes without any requirement for a medical or psychological assessment. Unregulated practitioners are not required to hold insurance and may not have the medical knowledge to manage complications. That cannot be allowed to continue.

The case for change is absolute. It is unacceptable that we allow children to be exposed to life-changing risky procedures with little to no regulation. My Bill would criminalise the administering in England of botox injections and cosmetic fillers to people under the age of 18. There are cases where medical conditions may require such treatment, such as migraines. These treatments could continue if carried out in accordance with the directions of a doctor. However, we must take action to bring fillers and botox procedures in line with other body modifications that carry similar health risks, such as tattoos. The Bill would impose a duty on businesses to ensure that they do not arrange or perform these procedures on under-18s unless approved by a doctor. We can no longer allow the unscrupulous actions of some people to impact on our children’s lives, and those administering the procedures must be held accountable. The most frequent reaction I have received in response to my Bill is, “Surely, that is illegal already.” I join in that disbelief, and this House must now put it right.