I am a little concerned about my daughter's physical development. I realize that children grow and develop at varying rates etc. My daughter seems to be maturing ealier than I expected. She is 8 years old and in the second grade.. she is approx. 4'6" and weighs aprox. 70lbs. She is very tall for her age and slender. She does bathe each night and uses an antibacterial soap (Lever 2000). She does use deoderant each morning. However, by the time she gets out of school in the afternoons, she has body odor. I know how embarassing this can be for children and am searching for any advice that you may have. I have heard that this could be due to her diet. What foods might contribute to this? I am also concerned that she is already developing hair growth under her arms. I'm sure that everything is fine and that she is simply growing up, but it seems too early to me. Should I expect her to continue to be an 'early bloomer'? Is she beginning to enter puberty? Surely not! Thank you for any suggestions/advice that you can offer. : )
The usual age range for onset of puberty in girls is between 9 and 16 years old; in boys, the usual range is between 13 and 15 years old. Some even regard the range in girls as commencing at age 8. When youngsters display premature development of body characteristics that normally occur during puberty, they are said to display precocious puberty. This situation is much more common in girls than in boys. If indeed your daughter is displaying pubertal changes, and there is every indication she might be, she is experiencing these changes at an early age (whether technically, at age 8, it would be regarded as precocious puberty or not).
Many girls display the first signs of puberty (development of breasts is regarded as the initial sign of onset of puberty in girls) at an early age, with no abnormalities involved. It would be wise to seek the advice of your daughter's pediatrician because there can be hormonal problems that precipitate development of puberty. Such variables as family history, your daughter's rate of increase in height and weight, the sequence or order in which the pubertal changes are occurring, and possibly some lab work and x-rays of bone growth in the wrist and hand might be considered if the pediatrician deems it necessary.
The social and emotional implications of early onset of puberty are important issues to address. Your daughter will benefit from talking about what occurs during puberty, other changes she will experience, the different rate of development among children of the same age, etc. To help promote such discussion and help your daughter to understand what is happening, consider using some of the excellent literature available on the topic of puberty. There are many resources available, both for children and for parents. Examples include "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Girls (by Lynda and Area Madaras), My Body, My Self for Girls (also by L. and A. Madaras), and Changes in You and Me: A Book about Puberty Mostly for Girls (by Paulette Bourgeois and Martin Walsh).
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.
*Keyword: puberty, precocious puberty
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