Abdominal girth is the measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point. This measurement is most often made at the level of the belly button (navel). Abdominal girth is used to diagnose and monitor the following:

If you decide to measure your child’s abdominal girth at home:

  1. Mark exact area of the measurement on either side of umbilicus at top edge and bottom edge of tape with a pen or marker.

  1. Complete the measurements at the same time each day and before meals.

  1. Document finding on a data sheet to share information with healthcare provider

Parents/caregiver/guardian need to contact a healthcare provider,  when:

  1. Abdominal girth varies significantly from the child’s baselines.
  2. Rapid distention of the child’s abdomen is visualized and verify by measurement
  3. Child complains of ongoing abdominal pain.


Example of an Unexpected Situation