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Pituitary Gland Now Making Kids Awkward Even Sooner

By Alicia Dorr in News on Oct 29, 2007 7:35PM

2007_10_29.puberty.jpgEveryone knows puberty is the #1 most awkward and mortifying stage of growing up, but what if it hit you before you were even 8 years old? According to today's Sun Times, kids as young as 4 are experiencing early-onset puberty.

Precocious puberty, which is not as fun as it sounds, is more common than you'd think. According to the Oak Park-based Magic Foundation, between 1 in 5,000 and 1 in 10,000 kids become gangly and bumbling as younger than eight or nine. The rate of incidence in young girls is higher than for young boys, and may be linked to childhood obesity and chemical pollutants such as pesticides in the environment.

Some parents opt for treatment to stave off the hormones that trigger puberty's notorious changes (hair down there, getting taller, developing breasts, etc.), hoping to allow their children a childhood for a little longer. While the treatment involves monthly needle injections—seriously, these poor kids—delaying the grim reaper that is puberty so the kids can at least go through this clumsy stage with their peers seems worth it.

There's an Australian coming-of-age movie called Puberty Blues?