Pediatric Edema

Pediatric Edema



Edema is caused by extra fluid trapped within the body’s tissues, leading to swelling.

Expanded overview

When there is excess fluid trapped within tissues of the body, edema – or swelling – can result. This condition can affect any part of a child’s body, but it most commonly occurs in the hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs.


The causes of edema are varied, and can include:

  • Eating too much salt or salty foods
  • Staying in the same position for an extended period of time

Medical conditions that can cause edema are:

Being on certain medications can also cause edema. Medications that can cause swelling include:

  • A type of diabetes medication knows as thiazolidinediones
  • Estrogens (hormone medications)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) medication
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids


Signs and symptoms of edema may include:

  • Increased abdominal size
  • Skin that appears shiny
  • Skin that retains a dimple (known as “pitting”) after being pressed for several seconds
  • Stretched skin

Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under the skin

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