May 16, 2011 — -- A California mother has lost custody of her 8-year-old daughter after she injected the girl with botox in preparation for a beauty pageant.
A person with knowledge of the situation told ABC News that the girl, Britney, is doing well but did not offer more detail on the ongoing investigation into the girl's mother, Kerry Campbell.
On Friday, the San Francisco Human Services Agency, launched an investigation into Campbell after she admitted to "Good Morning America" that she injected botox into her daughter's face to help her in beauty pageants.
"It's pretty unusual for a mom to be injecting an 8-year-old with botox and certainly is grounds for an investigation," said Trent Rohrer of the San Francisco Human Services Agency on Friday.
Campbell and daughter Britney, appeared on "Good Morning America" last week defending the 8-year-old pageant contestant's use of botox.
"I just, like, don't, like, think wrinkles are nice on little girls," Britney said.
Britney admitted it hurt to get the injections on her face, but said she was used to the pain.
The admission sparked an uproar online, in the medical community and by child advocates.
Campbell told ABC News that she does not believe she's endangering Britney's health and that her daughter asked for the injections. The mom is a part-time aesthetician and no stranger to botox herself, having done the treatment on her own face.
"Like I said, I do the botox myself. It's safe," she said.
"She had watched me do it before," said Campbell. "So when we first did it, she was fine with it."
Campbell wouldn't reveal who provides her with the Botox. She typically administers the Botox to Britney through a total of five shots, in three different locations on her face.
"The few times that we did it, it would lessen the lines," she said. "They wouldn't completely disappear, she's a kid. And we don't do so much to where it's going to make a big difference."
Experts Say Botox Not Right for 8-Year-Old Girl
ABC News' chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser, said that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of botox on children for cosmetic purposes.
"As a doctor, if I'd seen this mother, I would be required to report her to protective services because it's maltreatment... Any doctor who would give a parent botox to administer to their children should lose their license…there's not a state where you don't need to be a licensed doctor or under direct supervision of a doctor to inject this," Besser said.
Besser said that botox is used to correct children who are cross-eyed or suffering from some neurological disorders, but not typically for cosmetic reasons.
"If you inject it in the face and it drifts to your throat, it can prevent you from swallowing. If it drifts to your breathing muscles..you can stop breathing. In a young child, if you're chronically using it on the face, it may actually change the shape of your face because your muscles interact with your bones to form what your face eventually looks like," Besser said.
Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day says the drug is generally safe, but she would never inject a minor.
"There's absolutely no reason to use it for cosmetic purposes in an 8-year-old child and so any risk is too much of a risk to take," Day said.
It wasn't just the medical community that was outraged. The ladies of "The View" tackled the subject on Thursday's show.
"This is the dumbest...momma I have ever seen in my life," Sherri Shepherd said.
Thousands of people shared their thoughts on the kiddie botox on ABCNews.com, Facebook and through tweets. In an ABCNews.com online poll, 97 percent of those who voted disapproved of botox for little girls.
"That is sick. Botox is a choice for adults, not kids," Laura Biering commented.
On Facebook and Twitter, ABC News received 2000 responses.
Botox Mom Probed For Injecting 8-Year-Old Daughter
"Our job is to protect our children and nurture them, not alter our children's appearances," Rachelle Watkins said.
Campbell defended using the botox, saying it was a pageant secret used by many pageant moms.
"This is not what pageantry is about. I'm sorry to say she's only doing a disservice to her child and will never win the title she seeks," said Valerie Walker, a veteran pageant coach.
Logan Levkoff, author of "Third Base Ain't What it Used to Be," said that giving children botox sends a terrible message to kids.
"The fact that our 8-year-olds even know what wrinkles are and would know what botox is, that's certainly a scary commentary on society today," Levkoff said.
Levkoff said that using the cosmetic procedure on a little girl promotes one standard of beauty.
"It's sending a terrible message that her worth and her success in life is measured by her face and her looks. The mother/daughter relationship is so fraught and complicated to begin with. How does this girl grow up knowing that she's going to constantly seek approval based on this one thing and these unobtainable goals," Levkoff said.
The launching of an investigation into Campbell does not mean that she will lose custody of her child, experts say. She could be redirected to parenting classes or nothing could happen at all if the botox was being administered lawfully, experts say.