Early Puberty in Girls at an All-Time High
In this article, you will find:
- Precocious puberty at age 7 or 8
- Possible causes and ways to put off puberty
Possible causes and ways to put off pubertyNo one is exactly sure why some girls are reaching puberty much sooner, but these factors may play a part, according to the lead author of the Pediatrics study and other physicians:
- Childhood obesity. An increasing number of kids are overweight or obese, due to poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. A child's body may misread her increased weight as a sign of natural growth and physical maturity.
- Exposure to environmental chemicals. Traces of estrogen have been found in plastics, foods, and other products our families use. Higher levels of the hormone in the body can trigger earlier menstruation.
- Living "green." By making greener choices, such as eating organically, you can reduce your child's exposure to chemicals and added hormones in foods, food containers, and elsewhere in the environment.
- Eating well. Eating a nutritious diet will help your kids maintain a healthy weight – making it more likely that they'll physically mature at a typical pace. Try to make a habit of having meals as a family to set the example of how healthy eating is an important part of everyday life.
- Keep 'em moving. Making family fitness another priority can help your kids achieve a healthy weight and get hooked on exercise, which will benefit their body and mind for years to come.
If early puberty is a concern in your family, talk with your child's pediatrician.