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Potbellies and toddlers

Children and potbellies

 

Information

Question:

Is there any reason to worry about a child's potbelly?

Answer:

It is generally normal for toddlers to have potbellies. By the time children reach school age, the potbelly will most often disappear and their bodies seem more proportionate.

The belly should feel soft and NOT tender. There is nothing to worry about unless a potbelly the child also has other symptoms such as:

  • Belly pain
  • Fever
  • Hard or firm-feeling belly
  • Short stature
  • Swollen belly
  • Vomiting

 

References

Rudolph JA. Nutrition and gastroenterology. In: Zitelli BJ, ed. Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 10.

 
  • Potbellies

    Potbellies - illustration

    A toddler's potbelly is nothing to worry about unless the swollen belly is accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, or vomiting. A potbelly should also be evaluated by a physician if the swollen belly appears suddenly, or the child exhibits a short stature.

    Potbellies

    illustration

    • Potbellies

      Potbellies - illustration

      A toddler's potbelly is nothing to worry about unless the swollen belly is accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, or vomiting. A potbelly should also be evaluated by a physician if the swollen belly appears suddenly, or the child exhibits a short stature.

      Potbellies

      illustration

    Self Care

     

       

      Review Date: 2/5/2015

      Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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