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Precociousness is usually a positive childhood quality in regular English usage, but it has negative connotations in medical terminology. Doctors use the CPP concept to describe an abnormality in the child's physical maturing. The physical transition from boy to man, or girl to woman, normally occurs in the teenage years but in CPP children this process starts much sooner. This development has serious physical and emotional health implications. The stresses we associate with regular puberty multiply many times over when it starts at an earlier age. This is one key reason why it is so important to differentiate between CPP and normal maturing.

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1. How old is the child when these changes become noticeable

The most obvious CPP symptom occurs when signs of puberty appear in a child at a much earlier age than is the norm. Everyone appreciates that children mature at different speeds, but signs of this process underway ought not to appear before the age of eight in girls, and before the age of nine in boys. Medical statistics show that girls are more likely to suffer from CPP, but the numbers involved remain very small. Estimates put the chances of a child having CPP as low as 10,000.

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