Why is the age cut off 12 years old for the use of most products without the approval of a doctor? It’s common to see products say to consult a doctor before giving to children under 12. Does your body go through some sort of physical maturity at that age?
12 years old is a rough approximation of the time when most people are going through puberty. Post-puberty, your body is physically more like an adult’s body than like a child’s body, so if a medication is meant for children or meant only for adults, 12 years old is a rough estimate of where the border is between physical immaturity and maturity.
For example there’s a medication that can cause bones to discolor. In adults this is irrelevant, but if the medication is given to children, their teeth can grow in very discolored and unsightly. So this medication isn’t given to children, only adults. 12 years old is roughly about the time when most people have lost all their baby teeth and their adult teeth have already grown in. So this might be an example of where the 12-year-old line makes sense.
Yes, and you are very familiar with it: puberty. At around the age of 12, the body changes drastically with increased hormone activity, as it rapidly approaches adulthood. The biggest problem with giving such drugs to children who haven’t reached puberty is that they can interfere with or delay its onset, stunting growth and resulting in life long issues.