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Children and Bone Health

Bones undergo changes throughout our lives, as old bone is broken down and new bone forms. But the most important time for building a strong skeleton is during childhood and adolescence. Bone strength depends on both the size of the bones and the amount of mineral they contain.

The greatest gains in bone size and mineral content occur in adolescence. At puberty, hormonal changes take place that start sexual maturity and speed up bone growth. Bones not only get longer and wider, they also get denser. People reach their peak bone mass, or maximum bone size and density, by their late teens or early twenties. As early as age 30, some bones begin to slowly lose mass.

The more bone mass we “bank” in childhood and adolescence, the better we withstand the inevitable bone losses and the better protected we are from osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life.

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The Hormone Foundation

Dr. Lysette Iglesias M.D.

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