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Potbellies and toddlers

Alternative Names

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 a child reaches school age, the potbelly usually disappears and their bodies seem more proportionate.

The belly should feel soft and not tender. There is nothing to worry about unless a potbelly is accompanied by other symptoms (such as abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, or short stature), or if it appears suddenly swollen. Medical conditions causing an enlarged liver or spleen can be serious and must be ruled out by your doctor.

See also: Swollen belly


Review Date: 3/14/2009
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. 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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