Puberty is a time when a child grows into an older person. Puberty usually occurs at the age of 11 years in girls and 12 years in boys. But premature puberty can also occur in children, this phenomenon is often known as early puberty or Precocious Puberty.
Premature puberty or early puberty usually occurs earlier than the average age, between 7-8 years in girls and 9 years in boys. This early puberty causes a number of physical, psychological, and behavioral changes in the child.
Precocious Puberty Causes
Premature puberty in a child can be caused by the following:
Girls are 10 times more likely to experience precocious puberty than boys.
Research reveals childhood obesity is thought to lead to premature puberty, especially in girls. A high body mass index (BMI) in obese children leads to an increase in the hormone leptin. This hormone is thought to trigger the development of puberty to be faster. However, more research is needed to support this statement.
Exposure to chemicals
Exposure to chemicals present in the environment is thought to have a role towards precocious puberty in children. DDT, PCB, phthalate, and bisphenol A are some of the substances thought to interfere with the production, activity, and elimination of natural hormones in the body responsible for development, behavior, fertility, and metabolism. But the effects of environmental chemicals on puberty are still unclear and require more research.
Stress and depression
According to research, physical or emotional stress in childhood, such as low birth weight, the mother having the disease while pregnant, or the absence of a father figure, is thought to play a role in the development of precocious puberty. In addition, some studies suspect that depressed parents may be a risk factor or cause precocious puberty in their child.
In addition, genetic factors also play a role. If a parent or close relative experiences precocious puberty, the child will have a greater chance of experiencing the same thing. Exposure to estrogen or tes**tosterone hormones from the outside, such as creams or ointments, can also cause early puberty.
Precocious Puberty Symptoms
The symptoms or signs of early puberty are the same as the symptoms of puberty in general, but these symptoms occur much earlier.
Girls are said to experience early puberty when puberty occurs before the age of 8. Early puberty is characterized by breast growth and early first menstruation.
While in boys, early puberty occurs before the child is 9 years old, with symptoms in the form of changes in sound becoming heavier, the growth of mustaches, as well as enlargement of the tes**ticles and pe**nis.
Other symptoms that can accompany early puberty in boys and girls are:
- The appearance of acne on the face.
- Height growth is becoming faster.
- Body odor turns out to be like an older person.
Early puberty effects
Early puberty will bring physical and emotional problems for the sufferer. The following are some of the impacts that may be experienced if a child experiences early puberty:
- Short body size: if the puberty phase has stopped, then the growth process also stops. Therefore, if puberty occurs faster, growth also stops faster, resulting in a person becoming shorter.
- Behavior issues
- Early se**xual activity
- Stress: for children going through early puberty, the tendency to stress also increases because friends their age have not experienced it. Need assistance from parents to get used to the changes experienced.
- Other risks: this risk is associated with diseases such as breast cancer. Some studies show that the risk of breast cancer is slightly increased in women who experience early puberty.