Uncategorized • Apr 12, 2011

Early Puberty – Are kids growing up too fast?

     Do you feel like your kids are growing up too fast? It may not just be motherly melancholy.  There is research to suggest that puberty is taking place earlier than ever.  The journal Pediatrics reports 15% of American girls begin puberty by the time they’re 7 years old, a rate that’s nearly doubled in the last decade. 
     This week, USA Today interviewed several experts for some perspective , who attribute the phenomenon to higher rates of obesity, premature birth and family genetics.
     We checked with Dr. Abby Hollander from our department of endocrinology, who sees about 5-10 patients a year for what she calls “precocious puberty.”   Dr. Hollander believes there is not enough research yet to explain a trend. Although she did point out that early development is much more frequent in girls than boys – and puberty is, indeed, accelerated in girls, while it tends to slow development in boys.  
      What do you think? Are kids growing up faster? What do you think is the cause?