School-age child

The first signs of puberty - do you know how to recognize them?


Today, children mature much earlier than their parents and grandparents. The first signs of entering an extraordinary adolescence are often surprising. What symptoms indicate that puberty has started? When can you expect them and how to deal with early puberty? Is menstruation in a ten-year-old a norm? When should you seek medical help?

When do children start growing up?

The first signs of puberty in girls may appear already at the age of 8, medium - around 10 years old. The boys can start puberty already at the age of 9, usually on average at the age of 11. If signs of puberty occur earlier, we are talking about precocious puberty, which requires medical consultation.

Girls who show significant signs of puberty before the age of 7 and boys who experience them before the age of 9 mature prematurely. Symptoms of premature puberty are observed in 1 in 5000 children.

Can you accelerate or slow down puberty?

Each child develops at his own pace. There is no way to slow down or speed up this process. Of course, there are methods involving the use of hormonal therapies, but they are only indicated when ripening goes well beyond the designated frames.

Do you worry about premature or early puberty?

Very rarely, boys' premature puberty may have a medical cause such as brain changes (tumors, growths, encephalitis). Most often, the cause of their occurrence is unknown.

Premature puberty is often associated with childhood obesity.

The situation is different for girls. Extremely rare (almost never) premature puberty has medical causes. Usually simply the symptoms of puberty at an early age are dictated by the individual characteristics of the body and can not be influenced.

It is worth noting that precocious puberty is primarily a girls problem. Girls mature quickly even 10 times more often than boys.

The first signs of puberty in girls

  • changed sweat smell
  • faster greasy hair
  • beginning of breast development
  • acne, skin changes
  • pubic hair development

Girls may have premature breast growth that is not accompanied by other signs of puberty. As a consequence, the remaining symptoms appear much later than the early breast development process.

The first menstrual period usually occurs in girls no earlier than 2-3 years after the first symptoms of breast development. A few to several months before it occurs, vaginal discharge appears informing about ovarian activity.

The first signs of puberty in boys

  • changed sweat smell
  • testicular or penis enlargement
  • pubic hair development,
  • rapid growth jump,
  • changed voice.

It happens that the first signs of puberty in the form of pubic hair in boys occur several years before proper puberty. No other symptoms are attached. We are talking then about partial premature puberty.

Menstruation at the age of 10 years

Although in Poland most girls get their first menstrual period when they are 12 years and 9 months oldy, it is more and more common for the first menstruation to occur at the age of ten.

Such early menstruation can trigger shock and disbelief. Typical is the fear of how to explain to a small child what is happening to his body. Despite access to better and better hygiene products, menstruation remains "difficult". Therefore, for obvious reasons, as parents, we want menstruation to start a little later than too soon. Unfortunately, we don't have much influence on this. It is our parents' role to prepare the child for the situation so that he can deal with it as well as possible. Adolescent children need parents more than ever before.

How to help a maturing child?

The growing maturation of children is a surprise not only for their parents, but also for themselves. The child may feel uncomfortable with what is happening to his body. It takes a lot sensitivity and empathy, to guess what is going on in the head of an adolescent young person. Along with changes in the body, there are also revolutions in the psyche that make a beloved child "difficult".

Children are often afraid of conversations, they cannot talk about a changing body, their own fears and fears. It is worth parenting to warn and inform about what can happen and how to cope with embarrassing situations. This is especially important when a child begins to mature earlier than their peers and is afraid of their own "otherness".

  • when the child's sweat starts to smell bad, it is worth investing in a deodorant. There are mild preparations on the market that do not irritate the baby's skin. We are not afraid to buy the right cosmetic for an eight- or nine-year-old. For an older child, in the teenage period it will be a good idea to buy an antiperspirant that reduces sweat production,
  • when a young girl is ashamed of dark hair on her legs or armpits, let's not focus on her young age, but on her well-being and teach her how to remove hair effectively,
  • when the girl's breasts start growing, let's go on a woman's trip for the first bra,
  • if all signals indicate that you will have your period soon, hand the daughter a sanitary napkin. Let's make her carry one in her backpack. That way, you'll feel more confident.
  • do not spare time talking about the changing body and mind. Try to dispel any doubt, do not be afraid of embarrassing conversations. You can give your child a puberty book written special for girls or boys.