Trans charity Mermaids gives harmful chest-flattening binders to teenage girls and advises that puberty-blockers are safe and 'totally reversible'

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Trans charity Mermaids gives harmful chest-flattening binders to teenage girls and advises that puberty-blockers are safe and 'totally reversible'

A transgender children's charity has been accused of giving chest-flattening devices to young girls against their parents' wishes.

Mermaids staff offered to send a breast binder to a girl they believed was only 14 after being told she was banned from using one by her mother.

According to an investigation by the Daily Telegraph, the charity has been offering binders to children as young as 13 despite their parents saying they oppose the practice.

The newspaper also said the charity's online help centre tells children who present themselves as young as 13 and 14 that hormone-blocking drugs are safe and 'totally reversible'.

Mermaids, a taxpayer funded group which supports transgender children and their families, runs training for schools and the NHS.

Breast binding, also known as chest binding, is the act of flattening breasts by the use of constrictive materials. The term also refers to the material used in this act.

The ultra–tight garments can cause horrendous health problems including breathing and breastfeeding difficulties, chronic back pain and broken ribs, increasing the chance of a punctured lung. 

A 2017 study led by Sarah Peitzmeier of the University of Michigan and published in the journal Culture, Health and Sexuality, observed almost 9 in 10 people experienced at least one negative effect from binding, and 8 out of 10 felt that it was important to discuss binding with a healthcare provider.

 

 


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