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When does puberty start?

Children are hitting puberty at younger ages — are you ready to explain the changes?


Puberty is happening earlier in life for many boys and girls. Knowing what to expect during this milestone time in your child’s life can help you be prepared as a parent. When they have questions about their life changes, you’ll be ready to help.

Girls typically go through puberty from 8 to 13 years old, with the entire process taking three to four years. The average age that girls start to menstruate (get their period) is around 12 years old.

Signs of the onset of puberty include
  • Body odor
  • Pubic hair growth
  • Acne
  • Growth spurt

Most discussions around puberty tend to focus on girls, but boys are starting puberty earlier, too. Boys typically go through puberty from 9 to 14 years old, with the entire process taking three to four years. Most boys will start puberty by 11 1/2 years old.

Puberty in boys is marked by
  • Body odor
  • Pubic hair growth
  • Penile growth
  • Acne
  • Body and facial hair growth
  • Growth spurt
  • Deepening of voice

If your son or daughter starts puberty before the typical age ranges, take him or her to their pediatrician for a physical. While there could be no reason for the early onset, it’s important to rule out any conditions that could cause puberty to start early.

Workshop at the Frazier History Museum

Teen Talk
Jan. 13 • 10 to 11:30 a.m.

How can parents prepare themselves and their kids for puberty? First, make sure you have all the answers to be able to explain puberty to your child. Kids have lots of questions, and they’re not afraid to ask. Next, engage in conversations well before puberty starts and on a regular basis. Finally, be supportive and react in a positive way in response to your child’s changing body and questions they may ask.

Join us for ‘Teen Talk’

On Saturday, Jan. 13, parents and preteens/teens can get help with starting sometimes-awkward conversations about puberty. Wellness experts will lead the discussions, and boys and girls will attend separate sessions so they can feel more comfortable asking questions. Group discussion topics will include physical and emotional changes during puberty, the importance of good sleep habits, nutrition and exercise.

Teen Talk will be held as part of the Frazier History Museum’s “Hope and Healing: Celebrating 125 Years of Norton Children’s Hospital” exhibit. Recommended for boys and girls ages 8 to 15 and their parents. Tickets for the 1.5-hour workshop are $8 per person, which includes admission to all museum exhibits.

Make sure to stay and walk through “Hope and Healing: Celebrating 125 Years of Norton Children’s Hospital” on display!

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