Parents in the spotlight as under-18s cosmetic surgery rises

While most parents agree young people should not consider aesthetic surgery, as many as one in ten mothers would allow their child to undergo cosmetic procedures.

A recent Clinic Compare survey of 2,000 parents also revealed that 14% of fathers would give their children permission to have cosmetic surgery.

The most common reason given for their opinion was to help their child address insecurities in their appearance.

Ear pinning and nose surgery made up the greatest proportion of cosmetic procedures carried out on under 18s (31% and 25% respectively), however weight loss surgery (16%), breast enlargement (5%,) and liposuction (7%) are also on the increase.

Nilesh Sojitra, a consultant plastic surgeon and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) member said: “Currently ear pinning is quite common. Parents often want their children to have it before they start school so they are not picked on, but it is not really recommended by us for them to have it so young. When parents bring four or five year olds we try and discourage it as the child should be able to have a say in it.”

The survey also found that six per cent of parents said 16-18 year olds should be allowed to decide for themselves if they should undergo aesthetic procedures. 7.2% said it was fine for under 16s to have that choice, and of those, a surprising 2% said pre-teens should be allowed to make the decision.