Paediatrician Dr Su Laurent talks about puberty in teenagers.
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Emma Howard: Hello, I am Emma Howard and I am joined by Dr. Su Laurent, who is a Consultant Paediatrician at Barnet Hospital in Hertfordshire, Hello Su. Su Laurent: Hello Emma. Emma Howard: I have a question here about a fourteen year-old boy. The parent says my son is shorter than the rest of his class and showing no signs of puberty. Should I be worried? They want to know. Su Laurent: The question is, you don’t have to worry as long as he is not worried. Boys go to puberty at all different sorts of stages, and a boy going into puberty late is very common. What happens is that all get a growth spot when they go into puberty. Then what will happen if you haven’t got into puberty, and you haven’t got that extra surge of testosterone is that the boy will carry on growing at the rate that he was growing before all his friends were into puberty. Emma Howard: Yes the others were shooting up and -- Su Laurent: The others were always shooting up. Now if he is getting bullied or if he is feeling very self conscious, he can’t be helped by going to see a paediatrician who is a specialist in puberty and endocrinology and giving a little surge of – a boost of testosterone. Emma Howard: Does that start the process or it’s just an extra? Su Laurent: It kick starts the process. Emma Howard: Right. Su Laurent: And can actually make him feel a bit more kind of muscular and I am getting a bit of growth spot. But many boys are quite happy just to kind of chill out until they are 15 or even 16 because it usually just happens on its own. Emma Howard: And boys aren’t usually as aware of the fact that, I mean just girls are. Su Laurent: No, I mean the range of the height, I always find very interesting. At about 13, the range of the heights of boys isn’t massive. But you got those who will never know while they were going into puberty and you got those who clearly at fourteen showing their signs so and they are kind of used to it, I think. Emma Howard: And not uncommon on 14 then? Su Laurent: No. that’s not uncommon. Emma Howard: So they are worrying unduly. Su Laurent: Yes, usually. I mean if – it’s always work, just getting your doctor just to check out your child, just to make sure that everything is absolutely normal, but most of the time, it’s going to be something that will happen in time. Emma Howard: Great advice, thanks Su. While if you have a similar problem, we hope and want to give you some help. But remember it’s always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching, we’ll be back with more health questions and answers.