This unusual condition results in the very early onset of puberty and its associated symptoms and changes. This includes early growth of pubic hair, breast growth amongst girls and development of the male genitalia. Although there is no official ‘norm’ for starting puberty, precocious puberty normally refers to the onset of these symptoms significantly earlier than 8 years old. Although there have been cases linked to hormonal problems and brain injury, most cases have no clear cause. One of the key concerns surrounding precocious puberty is that it leads to a growth spurt that leaves children taller than other kids for a while, but then significantly shorter in later life. Treatment is normally focussed on hormone therapy to try and control the development rate.
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