My 6-year-old daughter is undergoing tests at our local hospital to see if she's in puberty. How can this be happening so early?
Puberty, the time when kids develop physically and emotionally into young adults, usually begins around 8 to 14 years of age. But for some kids it can happen much earlier. The medical term for this early development is precocious puberty.
Precocious puberty might be the result of a problem in the brain or a hormonal imbalance, but more often there's no specific underlying health issue. Some kids just have an early timer.
A doctor who specializes in early puberty can help distinguish between normal early development and a medical issue, and can help with treatment if it is needed.
Going through puberty early can be difficult on any child emotionally and socially, but can be even more difficult if that child is too young to understand what's happening. Give your daughter a simple, truthful explanation about what's happening, and keep her informed about what can be expected along the way.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: February 2012
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|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|BeingGirl This website offers answers to questions about puberty and menstruation, as well as information about music and fashion, quizzes, and games.|
|GirlsHealth.gov GirlsHealth.gov, developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.|
|Understanding Early Sexual Development Young kids develop an emotional and physical foundation for sexuality in many subtle ways as they grow. By understanding how your kids grow and learn, you can play an important role in fostering their emotional and physical health.|
|Precocious Puberty Precocious puberty - the onset of signs of puberty before age 7 or 8 in girls and age 9 for boys - can be physically and emotionally difficult for children and can sometimes be the sign of an underlying health problem.|
|Talking to Your Child About Puberty Talking to kids about puberty is an important job for parents, especially because kids often hear about sex and relationships from unreliable sources. Here are some tips.|
|Talking to Your Daughter About Puberty Help your daughter prepare for the changes that puberty will bring before she takes her first steps toward adulthood.|
|Growth and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old As kids grow from grade-schoolers to preteens, there continues to be a wide range of "normal" as far as height, weight, and shape.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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