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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 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 the child also has other symptoms such as:

References

Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Steward RW. Abdomen. In: Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Steward RW, eds. Siedel's Guide to Physical Examination. 8th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:chap 17.

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

Review Date:2/16/2017
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, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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