Puberty generally occurs at about 11 years of age in girls and around 12 years of age in boys. However, sometimespuberty may occur earlier in some children. Premature puberty can be caused by several factors, such as genetic factors or hormonal disorders.
A child can be said to experience precocious puberty or early puberty when he is too young to experience puberty. In girls, early puberty can occur at the age of 7-8 years, while in boys, this condition can occur at the age of 8-9 years.
A number of Causes of Puberty Early
There are several things that can cause a child to experience early puberty, including:
1. Genetic factors
This is one of the main risk factors for early puberty in children. Various studies say that early puberty is more at risk for children who have parents or siblings who also have a history of similar conditions.
Early puberty is also more common in girls, with a risk 10 times greater than that of boys.
A number of studies reveal that obesity in children plays a role in increasing their risk for experiencing early puberty. Because obesity makes children's bodies produce more of the hormone leptin.
This hormone is normally released when boys and girls enter their teens. However, in obese children, excessive amounts of fatty tissue in the body can cause the hormone leptin to be produced earlier.
3. Exposure to chemicals
Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins is also said to increase a child's risk of experiencing early puberty. These chemicals include DDT, PCBs, phthalates, parabens, lead, pesticides, and bisphenol A.N.
In addition to chemical exposure, exposure to the hormone estrogen or testosterone from hormonal drugs can also cause children to experience early puberty.
4. Stress and depression
Mental health problems in children, such as depression and prolonged stress, also contribute to early puberty. This is thought to occur due to the effects of stress and mental disorders on hormonal changes in the child's body.
5. Medical conditions certain
Some diseases or medical conditions that can cause a child to experience early puberty include tumors in the brain, testes, or ovaries, hormonal disorders, and brain injuries.
Dealing with Puberty Early Childhood
Signs of puberty in girls generally are changes in breast shape, the start of menstruation, and the growth of hair or hair around the pubic area. Meanwhile, in boys, puberty can cause penis and testicles to increase in size, voice to become louder, and to ejaculate.
Although puberty is common to everyone, some children who experience early puberty may experience a number of problems, both physically and psychologically.
Early puberty can make children feel less confident because they feel different from their friends, stress, lack of appetite, to a decrease in academic achievement at school. Especially, in boys, early puberty can also make them tend to behave more aggressively.
The role of parents is very important in supporting children to face puberty, especially early puberty. Some things parents can do include:
It is very important to maintain good communication with children, especially when he is going through puberty. Parents can give a simple and positive explanation that puberty is normal.
Also give understanding to the child that he does not need to feel ashamed and anxious about the changes that are happening to his body, because every child will experience puberty even at a different age.
Provide books or information containing an understanding of puberty
Give children books that contain an understanding of puberty. Then, invite him to discuss the contents of the book and also talk about the experiences he feels. This method can help children understand and deal with the early puberty they are experiencing.
It is also important for parents to provide sexual education, so that children can understand the risks of having sex outside of marriage, such as the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancies.
Take your child to the doctor
When your baby experiences signs of premature puberty, you should check his condition to the doctor. It is important to do this, so that doctors can ensure the child's health condition, determine the cause of early puberty, and provide appropriate treatment.
If your child is experiencing precocious or precocious puberty, it is important to continue to provide him with support. The reason is, these times can be a difficult and confusing time for him.
If you are still confused about dealing with a child experiencing early puberty, consult a doctor to help your child get the right understanding and appropriate treatment.