Finding underarm hair on your third grader can be confusing, and parents often don’t have answers when their thirteen your old asks when they should start puberty. While there are age parameters of when children should be starting puberty, most parents are surprised to find out that the earliest and latest ages to begin pubescence is younger and older than most assume.
The earliest age to start puberty for girls is eight years old. That means axillary (underarm) hair, pubic hair, breast development, body odor, and mild acne is normal in eight-year-olds is normal. Girls typically begin their period two years after breast buds appear, the youngest age being ten.
The earliest age to start puberty for boys is nine years old. This means boys can develop axillary hair, pubic hair, body odor, and mild acne at the age of nine.
What’s Not Normal?
Signs of puberty before the age of eight are not normal. Before the age of eight, girls should not have any significant enlargement of the clitoris.
Signs of puberty before the age of nine are not normal. Before the age of nine, boys should not have testicular or penile growth.
When to See a Pediatrician
Enlargement of the clitoris in girls under eight and penis in boys under nine may possibly signify sexual abuse. Even the smallest chance of this serious matter cannot be taken lightly. If you believe your child may have been sexually abused and/or are concerned of premature signs of puberty, request an appointment with your local Phoenix pediatrician at Pediatrix.