When Puberty Arrives Early

By Columbia Kaiyi Clinic 2021-11-01 20:02:25

In recent years, the topic of precocious puberty or early onset puberty in children has received a lot of attention. Why does precocious puberty occur, how does it affect children’s bone growth, and how can it be avoided?


Why does early onset puberty prevent children from growing taller?

Children’s height is related to bone age, which is capped at the age of 15. If precocious puberty occurs, pubertal development and bone age growth will start earlier; so overall bone growth time will be shorter.


Definition and characteristics of precocious puberty

In medical terms, when development begins before the age of eight for girls and nine for boys, it is called precocious puberty.

In children with precocious puberty, secondary sex characteristics may appear earlier. For boys, the shoulders broaden, the laryngeal nodes develop causing the voice to deepen, and body hair including armpit and pubic hair grows. For girls, the breasts form, menstruation starts, and armpit and pubic hair grow.

How precocious puberty is determined in terms of height development

Have your child’s height measured every six months after he or she enters primary school. Before puberty, height increases by about 2.5 cm every six months and after the beginning of puberty, height increases by about 5 cm every six months.

If you notice any abnormal growth in your child’s height, you can get their bone age measured. Treatment of precocious puberty is needed if the bone age is more than two years above the real life age. However, after a girl’s bone age exceeds 11.5 years and a boy’s bone age exceeds 12 years it is too late for treatment.

How to avoid precocious puberty

Firstly, there are pathological causes of precocious puberty such as: genetic problems, other disease effects.

Secondly, most cases are due to three behavioral causes.

1) Diet. The amount of animal food protein needs to be controlled to the recommended one palm serving.

2) Light. The habit of sleeping with the light on at night stimulates hormones in the body and early development occurs.

3) Mature content. Early and consistent exposure of children to mature content can also induce precocious puberty.

Therefore, monitoring media consumption, ensuring 8-10 hours of adequate sleep every day, and proper portions of meat and vegetables in three meals are good ways to prevent precocious puberty.



Dr Yubo Cai, Paediatrician

Dr Cai has over 15 years of clinical experience in paediatrics.

Columbia Kaiyi Clinic

Website: columbia-clinic.com

Tel: 400 663 7707