Cosmetic injections to become illegal for under-18s

29 Apr 2021

The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords on April 28.

With both the House of Commons and Lords agreed on the text of the Bill, it will become an Act of Parliament after the final stage of Royal Assent.

The UK Private Member’s Bill intends to make it a criminal offence for a person to give botulinum toxin or filler injections for cosmetic purposes to a person under the age of 18. The policy outlines its intention to safeguard children from the potential health risks associated with botulinum toxin and dermal fillers. These procedures will still be available to under-18s from a limited range of registered health professionals where there is an assessed medical need.

The explanatory notes state that children are currently able to access botulinum toxin and cosmetic filler procedures on the commercial market in the same way that adults can, with no prior medical or psychological assessment required.

The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) has offered its support, commenting that it’s looking forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders on the engagement and communications programme to support this important piece of legislation.

Chair of the BACN and Aesthetics Clinical Advisory Board member Sharon Bennett, commented, “Legislation in cosmetic medical practice is long overdue. We have legislation in place to prevent under 18s from having a tattoo or a sunbed session, so it is astonishing that legislation has not been in place for this age group from the use of botulinum toxin and fillers. Children should be prevented access to these treatments to protect them from themselves and social pressures, unscrupulous practitioners and from those without a medical qualification. The Bill is therefore a welcome step and, as Chair of BACN, I fully support it.”

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