Effects of Early Puberty on Girls and How to Treat Them
Early puberty may create havoc of physical and emotional changes in girls. Read on to learn more about the effects of early puberty in girls and how to help them deal with it.
Today, girls are getting into early puberty all over the world. Parents need to have all the information required so that they can help their child.
Puberty is the stage when kids develop physically and emotionally into young boys and girls. If this starts at scheduled age it is fine and girls can be educated and prepared to deal with it. But, recent studies have shown that many girls enter into puberty in their 7th or 8th year. This is called early puberty and has physical, emotional and practical consequences.
Effects of Early Puberty on Girls
Let us take a look at the effects of early puberty on girls.
1. Feeling Different From Their Peers
Early puberty has some negative impact on girls and one of them is finding themselves different from their friends. Any deviation from the average time line of development leads to stress in the child.
2. Feel More Stressed
Although girls find dealing with emotional and physical changes during puberty stressful, early puberty makes it more stressful. They even feel distressed and upset.
3. Coping With Lots of Changes Simultaneously
Since lot of changes take place during puberty, girls entering into early puberty find it difficult to cope with some at times. Sometimes early puberty symptoms coincides with other transitions going on inside body and this makes girls feel more anxious than their peers.
4. Growth In Height Stops
Early puberty results in shorter height because the skeletons mature and growth of bones stop at an early age than normal. Kids with early puberty normally do not achieve their full height potential.
5. Feel Embarrassed or Confused
Girls having signs of early puberty like getting periods or having enlarged breasts than their peers may make them feel confused or even embarrassed.
6. Change in Behaviour
Early puberty changes emotions and behaviour in girls. They become moody and irritable often.
Obesity is one of the after effects of early puberty. Along with early hormonal changes and development, lack of physical exercise can also be the reason behind gaining weight.
Diagnosing Early Puberty
If your child shows signs of early puberty like breast development, underarm hair development, rapid height growth, start of menstruation or having mature body odour, you should consult a paediatrician immediately. The doctor might take some blood or urine samples and get some tests done to find out whether high levels of sex hormones are there or not to confirm early puberty. There are some high level tests to rule out particular causes of early puberty.
Treatment for Early Puberty
If your doctor feels that your child has symptoms of early puberty, he might refer to paediatric endocrinologist for detailed evaluation and treatment. Sometimes the symptoms are shown due to a related health problem and treating that problem normalizes other developments. But in most cases synthetic hormones are given in drug form to your child to stop production of sex hormones in her body which is the actual cause of early puberty.
Explain things clearly to your child, but make sure, you keep things simple. Explain to her that these changes are normal for older girls, but she has started developing it early. Make her aware of the treatment. Watch out for other signs like lack of interest in studies, depression, loss of interest in normal activities and so on. Create a supportive environment and encourage your child to participate in different activities. The best thing is that early puberty can be treated, if checked on time. It will help limit the emotional and social difficulties your child is facing.
What are the causes of early puberty in girls? Is early puberty in girls harmful for them? How to prevent early puberty in girls? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team