By around 12 years old it’s natural for children to start showing the early signs of puberty.
For girls, puberty tends to start between 8 to 13 years old. The earliest signs include breast development and the appearance of pubic hair. Typically, menstruation usually starts around 2 years after the start of breast development.
With boys, the earliest stages of puberty start with testicular enlargement, followed by penile lengthening and the appearance of pubic and facial hair. On average, this starts to happen around the age of 11. Though for some it can be as early as 9 or as late as 15 years old.
This can be a difficult time for children and parents, and we begin to screen regularly for depression. Media use and social concerns are discussed as well. Alone time with the physician is highly recommended to allow the child to discuss more sensitive topics. Although confidentiality between the adolescent and physician is required, we certainly encourage parental involvement whenever possible.
Important vaccinations that are given during adolescence include:
- Menactra (first at 11 y.o., than between 16 and 18 y.o.)
- Meningitis B
- Flu (in season)
Early Adulthood/ Young Adults
The Pediatric Group is proud to provide family health services from birth to age 22. This includes physical examinations and screening for common health problems in young adults. In some cases, screening tests for mental health issues like depression, or substance abuse can be performed to help your child get the professional care and treatment they need to enter fully into independent adulthood.
At this stage, it is important to make sure meningitis and tDaP are up to date. The Flu shot continues to be recommended.