People of all ages seek out cosmetic surgeries for a variety of reasons. But what about when the person seeking cosmetic surgery is a child? If your child has expressed more than a passing interest in having a procedure done, keep reading. This article aims to answer questions you may have about this exact scenario in a balanced, straightforward way.
When Kids Want Plastic Surgery
Parents facing this issue may wonder if it’s ever a good idea to allow their child to have cosmetic surgery before reaching adulthood. They may also wonder if it’s even legal. The answer to both of these concerns is: it’s complicated.
First, let’s focus on the legal aspects. Especially if the parents give their consent, it’s generally legal for a child to undergo a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure.
However, according to this article, there are rules and recommendations. First, a mental health assessment should be given to the child by a psychologist or general practitioner. This helps rule out any underlying mental health concerns. If a child wants to change their appearance, it’s important they understand their own motivations for doing so. It speaks to their maturity level if they can articulate these reasons to others.
Next, research local laws regarding age of consent for elective medical procedures. In Australia, the age of consent is typically between 14 and 16 years of age. In the event you find your child’s request reasonable but they don’t meet the age of consent in your area, you can give consent on their behalf.
Ultimately, until your child turns 18, you’re legally responsible for their medical care. If your child meets the local age of consent and has the means to initiate a procedure you don’t feel is in their best interests, the courts may be able to intervene to prevent things from moving forward. The doctor also has an obligation to consider the parents’ views.
Okay To Be Different
Remind your child everyone has flaws, and our flaws help make us unique. Dig deep to make sure they’re not being bullied or peer pressured into making a decision that simply isn’t right for them.
Of course, it’s equally important to hear your child out. If they feel making a small physical change will positively impact their life, you should take that into consideration. In some ways, a minor cosmetic procedure is not much different than making sure your child has an up-to-date wardrobe, neatly trimmed hair and braces to correct an overbite. If you can see the value in those things, it’s hard to argue that pinning back overly prominent ears or refining a bump on their nose wouldn’t improve their feelings about their appearance.
Even in cases where parents agree to allow a procedure, for minor procedures, there must be at least a week between consultation and surgery. For bigger procedures such as rhinoplasty or breast augmentation, this cooling off period extends to at least three months.
This cooling off period allows time for you, your child and the surgeon to reflect upon the decisions you’ve made together. This extra layer of protection gives everyone involved additional peace of mind.
A Family Decision
In conclusion, once you’ve heard your child out, weighed potential benefits and risks, considered the financial aspects, and consulted local laws, you can make an informed decision in the best interest of your child. Should you refuse your child the procedure they want, be honest about your reasons and remind them that once they reach adulthood, the decision will be theirs to make.