Is Plastic Surgery Wrong for Children?
Teenagers often struggle with insecurity about their appearance. If your child looks in the mirror and does not like their appearance, do not consider this awkward behavior, it is common among teens. From imperfect smiles to breakouts, to feeling their ears are long or nose is too big, low self esteem brought about by one’s physical features is common among children. Some of these alleged imperfections can easily be resolved using cover up for concealing blemishes or new hair color. Some issues require the expertise of an orthodontist or dermatologist. Before you decide on whether to consent on a plastic surgery procedure or not, you are better off acquainting yourself with some basic information.
Age of Consent
The question of performing cosmetic surgery in children is a controversial issue that human rights activists have been pushing to address. Currently, there are no abstract laws in the U.S. preventing teenagers from going through cosmetic surgery. However, the constitution requires children less than 18 years to have parental consent before getting plastic surgery. In this case, as a parent, your role is to help your child decide whether cosmetic surgery is right for them.
Common Cosmetic Surgeries Among Children
It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the different procedures that fall under plastic surgery before determining whether it is the right choice for your child. Pediatric plastic surgeons conduct cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Cosmetic surgery is meant to improve a child’s physical appearance to boost their confidence and self-image. Reconstructive surgery is more than an improvement and is mainly concerned with repairing physical defects that may prevent your child from normal performance.
It is interesting to note that in 2013, reports by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) showed that the number of teenage cosmetic procedures had dropped significantly. Therefore, you should not believe everything you read or see on media regarding the rising cases of teenage plastic surgery procedures. The ASPS report is important to you because it shows the most common surgeries that teenagers are likely to get. These include:
- Breast Implants: According to the ASPS report, more than 8,000 breast implant surgeries were performed on girls aged between 18 and 19 in the year 2013.
- Rhinoplasty- Also called nose reshaping; rhinoplasty is among the most common teenage surgical procedure. This procedure can only be done as early as 13 years for girls, and 15 years for boys, when the nose is almost fully-grown.
- Breast Reduction: In most cases, this procedure is performed on teenage girls with excessively large breasts that cause shoulder and back pain or limit physical activity. Breast reduction can only be performed when a child’s breasts have achieved full development. In boys, breast reduction is a common option when they experience excessive breast development. This procedure involves removing the excess tissue.
- Otoplasty: Ear pinning is a procedure that works on children whose ears are almost fully developed. This procedure can be done as early as five years.
Reasons for and Against Plastic Surgery
The main reasons that should prompt you to allow your child to go through plastic surgery are self-esteem and psychological health. Many plastic surgery requests among teens are due to their low self-esteem and if not granted, could easily lead to depression. Furthermore, if your child or teen’s life can be improved through surgery, it would be better to allow the procedure.
One of the main reasons critics are against teenage plastic surgery is that it is a result of immature thoughts. According to scientists, the frontal lobe of a person’s brain develops fully between the ages of 20 and 30. This portion of the brain controls understanding consequences, decision-making, and impulsiveness.
In conclusion, as a parent, your child’s request for plastic surgery needs to be properly reviewed through character analysis and professional consultation, before giving your approval or disapproval.