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 swollen belly 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.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.