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Reasons Behind Child Entering Puberty at an Early Age

Posted on the 11 April 2014 by Health_news

Reasons behind child entering puberty at an early age

It is very disconcerting and alarming for a parent to find that their young and innocent children are entering puberty earlier than expected. It is very difficult to expect a young child to handle this change in his or her body. There may be both physical as well as psychological ramifications of these sudden changes in their young bodies. There are several reasons behind this change.

Though, no treatment as such is required by a child who is entering early puberty but in some cases treatment may be required which can help in halting or stopping this process.

Why are children entering early puberty?

On an average, girls enter puberty between 8-13 years of age and boys enter puberty between 9-14 years of age. Anything before this age bracket is considered as early puberty. Whenever this process begins earlier than expected, it is important to visit a doctor. This process continues progressing and one can see growth spurts in their children. The term precocious puberty is used for girls who show these symptoms when they are not yet 7 and boys before they are 9 years in age. This condition is seen in every one child out of five thousand children.

Categories of precocious puberty

Peripheral and central, there are two categories of precocious puberty.

  • Peripheral precocious puberty

This condition is also referred to as pseudo puberty which is quite rare and seldom seen. The symptoms of puberty are triggered because of testosterone and estrogen hormones. It is important to note that in this condition, pituitary gland and brain are not involved. This is usually a localised problem where adrenal gland, testicles, ovaries and thyroid glands that is severely under active are responsible.

  • Central precocious puberty

This is a common condition. When a child suffers from this condition, it is entirely similar to the onset of normal puberty with the only difference that this happens earlier than expected. Hormones like gonadotropins are produced as prompted by pituitary glands. These hormones are responsible for stimulating ovaries and testicles to produce other hormones, estrogen and testosterone respectively. These sex hormones are responsible for bringing about early puberty, for examples, cracking of voice in boys and development of breasts in girls.

Symptoms of child entering puberty at an early age

Premature thelarche

In this condition, girls start showing early breast development. Sometimes, even in girls who are just few years old show these symptoms. Though, this condition may be quite troubling and alarming for the parents, it gets resolved on its own and is actually not a sign of early puberty. Though, it is necessary to evaluate this condition but there is no need to go for any treatment.

Premature pubarche

In this condition, children may show development of underarm hair or pubic hair at an early age. This happens due to premature adrenarche, when hormones start getting released from the adrenal glands at an early age. Though, this situation is alarming for the parents, it is not a big problem and is surely not a symptom of early puberty. However, a proper evaluation of the condition is necessary as may represent an indication of excessive release of adrenal hormones which is quite abnormal.

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