Puberty is considered early if a boy starts becoming sexually mature before the age of 9. Your son is showing signs of puberty if:
Early puberty may keep your son from growing to his expected height.
Early puberty may also be called precocious puberty.
Often there is no clear cause. It may run in the family or something may be affecting the release of hormones. Children showing signs of early puberty should be checked by their healthcare provider.
Your child's healthcare provider will examine your son and ask about your family history. Your provider will measure your child’s height and weight. Your provider will check your child’s bone age with an X-ray of the hand and wrist.
Other tests may include:
A specialist called a pediatric endocrinologist may need to see the results of the tests.
Your child’s healthcare provider may recommend treatment if early puberty is likely to make it hard for your child to reach his expected height. Early puberty can often be stopped with a medicine called Lupron. This medicine is given as a shot once a month. When the shots are stopped, puberty will start again.
Your provider may want to see your child every 4 to 6 months to check on his growth.
Talk to your child about the changes in his body in a way that doesn’t make your child feel like there is something wrong with him. If he is taking medicine for the problem, explain how the medicine will help. Talk to his brothers and sisters as well to help prevent teasing.
Follow your child’s healthcare provider's instructions. Ask your provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup.