Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Sally-Ann Hart Sally-Ann Hart Conservative, Hastings and Rye 11:34 am, 16th October 2020

It is a pleasure to be able to speak in this debate. I congratulate my hon. Friend Laura Trott on bringing this Bill to the House.

My hon. Friends have looked back to their childhoods. I grew up in a family of girls; I had three sisters growing up, and our parents were absolutely fantastic. My mother was amazing—I do not know quite how she managed four girls growing up, with all those hormones raging, but she did—and so was my father. I want to emphasise to all hon. Gentlemen in the House how important it is for girls to have fathers who are encouraging, who tell them they are gorgeous but do not focus only on their looks, who tell them how important education is, and who bring them up with confidence and substance. I thank my parents for the job they did with their four daughters.

The 2017 Conservative manifesto contained a commitment to ensure effective registration and regulation of those performing cosmetic interventions. At present, practitioners of botox or fillers do not need to be medically qualified to perform the procedures, and there is no mandatory competency or qualification frameworks related to their administration. The potential health risks of such procedures include blindness, tissue necrosis and all the things highlighted by other hon. Members.

In 2008, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons said that cosmetic surgery should always be conducted in the patient’s best interest. It said that the decision to perform plastic surgery on a teenager should be made only in exceptional circumstances and with parental consent. That type of scrutiny should also apply to beauty and cosmetic treatment practitioners. Although it is normal for teenagers to worry about their looks, it should never be a matter of course for young people to have or to consider cosmetic or aesthetic surgery unless it is for medical reasons. Surgeons work under strict guidelines, and it is their responsibility to weigh up the pros and cons for each person in a responsible and focused manner, in the best interests of their patient.