December 04, 2007,
D.B. asks from Staten Island, NY on December 02, 2007
Questions About Grey Hair in Children.
Hi all. My name is D.. I am the mother to a 9 year old 4th grader. Recently I am noticing my son is getting grey hairs. He is completely stressed with school, (he is in class Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, with only a lunch break). Now I believe this schedule is way to demanding, but this is what was given to him by the NYC public school system. He has no time for sports during the week, mainly because his teacher gives an additional 2 hours of homework after all of this school. He has always been a worry-some child as it is, and does suffer from anxiety. I believe the added stress is whats causing the grey hair. Has anyone else had the issue of grey hairs with their children? This is not something that runs in either side of the family. So any information anyone can give me is helpful.
T.C. answers from Buffalo on December 04, 2007
Grey hair in children is usually hereditary. Especially if your son has dark hair. It's more noticeable. He does have a very demanding school schedule. Why is that? A fourth grader shouldnt be in school for that long. I would check that out because kids can be stressed enough without having all that responsibility and not having play time. I live in the Buffalo area and the kids go to school from 8:50 to 3:20,thats elementary school. I think thats plenty of time.
C.C. answers from Buffalo on December 03, 2007
My son who will be 15 has been getting stray gray hairs for years, the pediatrican said it was a vitamin deficiency. It use to drive me crazy & I realized I was making him uncomfortable w/ it when it didn't bother him or his friends. Verify w/ your pediatrican....
Stress @ school is a different issue though~ School work loads are demanding, perhaps you could take w/ a school counsler & see what recommedations are made to create a balance for him. See if other students are having similar issues, maybe the school needs to evaluate that particular class/teacher.
D.G. answers from New York on December 04, 2007
Oh my gosh, what a horrible schedule for a 9 yr old! School continues until 5:30? I've never heard of that. I would definitely talk to both his teacher and the school counselor. If you suspect that it may be stress related, that's some pretty serious stress to make a 9-yr-old's hair start turning gray. I would insist that the school work with you to turn down the pressure and give him some time off, or some time to do an activity he would like. We're all behind you while you stand up for your son!
p.s. My almost-9-yr old son has constant stomach issues, at least in part because of stress/emotional anxiety, so I know how it feels!
M.Z. answers from New York on December 03, 2007
I know you're curious about the gray hair, but regardless of whether it is "normal" for him or not, it sounds to me like you're concerned about the amount of stress he is under. It makes me a little sad to think of a 9-year-old being so stressed out that he has no free time just to play or think or enjoy his life. If you think it's too much for him, perhaps you could consider talking with someone at the school to find out what can be done to reduce the stress in his life?
I wish you and him all the best!
A.J. answers from Albany on December 03, 2007
Stress does not cause gray hair in children. Vitamin definciency, genetics, or some disorders do. You need to consult with your pediatrician about this & perhaps they can also help regarding his stress level.
M.T. answers from New York on December 04, 2007
Stress doesn't cause grey hairs in children. I would suggest a visit to the pediatrician. Sometimes it can be caused by genetic or endocrine disorders so a medical opinion may be helpful.
Nonetheless, if you feel that his stress level is extreme, then I would address that issue with him as well. 2 hours of homework a night is not in line with the AAP recommendations for 9 year olds. I believe they recommend 10 minutes a night plus reading, so that would be 40 minutes of homework for a 4th grader.
Q.F. answers from New York on December 03, 2007
hi, i don't know if this helps at all, but there are quite a few kids i knew who had some grey hair while growing up. i myself was born with a little patch of grey, and then while growing up, it started to somehow fade into natural brown, with some grey hairs here and there, but never enough to REALLY notice, unless "playing" with my hair. i also went to school with a few kids who used to have a few strands here and there. but there was also one kids in my class who had a nice chunk of grey hair in the back of his head that was very noticeable. my daughter was also born with a grey chunk right at the bottom of the hairline that you can really only notice when brushing her hair up. now it's faded to more of a blonde color that you can really only notice when it's pulled up.
for your son, i think you're right, if he has anxiety, then that would most likely cause the grey due to all that stress. i can't believe that they have such long school hrs, only to have him go home and spend a couple more hrs. doing homework. now, while i have no kind of advice on how to stop it...i thought maybe it would help knowing that there are other kids that have, or have had it too.
J.M. answers from Syracuse on December 04, 2007
my first response would be to tell you to go to the school and speak to the principal about your sons schedule. i would express your concern about his anxiety, and see if there is something that can be done to ease the stress. about the grey hair, i would call his doctor and ask him if there is anything that can be done.
S.R. answers from New York on December 04, 2007
I'd take him to the doctor to have him checked. A few weird gray hairs is one thing, but I think that there are some more serious conditions that cause children to age more quickly, and the sooner you get intervention, the better. Good luck.