You can’t be with your children 24/7, so what happens when other people are looking after them? And what rights have you to take decisions about someone else’s child who happens to be with you?
Section 5 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 says that everybody of 16 years or more who has the actual care or control of a child under 16 has a responsibility to do whatever is reasonable in all circumstances to look after that child’s health, development and welfare.
That would certainly include your 17-year old daughter when she’s babysitting, or any adult in the house where your child is having a sleepover with a friend. The adult in these circumstances is able to consent to surgical, medical or dental treatment if the child is unable to give such consent on his behalf and the adult is not actually aware that the parent of a child would refuse that consent.
This rule doesn’t apply to teachers who have a different set of responsibilities.
You can remove all doubt about who has this responsibility by signing a Deed of Arrangement, appointing somebody to act on your behalf in respect of the child. These Deeds of Arrangement can be very useful to allow, grandparents, aunts, step parents and others to get past the medical or dental receptionist or similar official who may not be an entirely up to speed about Section 5 of the 1995 Act
If you would find a Deed like that useful, give us a call.