What Causes Green Stool in Children?
Your toddler calls out to you as he finishes his business on his potty. You finesse through your routine of helping him clean up and SURPRISE! You spot green on the toilet paper. Confused by the sight, you look in the toilet bowl to find green stool!
What causes green stool in children? As worrying as it may be to discover green stool in children, you can rest assure that they don’t usually indicate any problems with the child. For first time parents and even you veteran parents out there, seeing different colored poop can often elicit a bit of a concern.
We want to provide the following guide for you as a reference point to what cause green stool in children the next time you start to fret. Try to remember anything that your child has ingested that is out of the norm within the last 24 hours and follow the below guide to determine whether their green stool is of concern to you.
Nothing Out of the Ordinary
According to LiveStrong.com, green stool in children may indicate that your child’s poop exited their bodies way too quickly. The color of stool is formed by the food-digesting fluid your body produces, called bile. Sometimes when your child has diarrhea, food is moving through their digestive systems too quickly.
As a result, the bile produced by your liver doesn’t have enough time to break down, causing the green stool in children and toddlers. Digestive problems such as allergies, infection, food poisoning and other disorders can create higher chances of diarrhea and green stool with excess mucus.
- There is no need to worry, just make sure to keep your child hydrated with electrolytes and minimize the intake of solid foods for a bit until your little one’s tummies settle.
Dietary Supplements & Medications
Often, a high iron diet can be the simple cause of green stool in children. Many iron supplements and medications may contain stool color-changing ingredients that you should watch for. Using laxatives may also be a cause to speed up the digestive process = but it may not be as common in children.
The Mayo Clinic notes that some anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medication are causes of green stool in children. In infants, green stools are commonplace amongst formula fed babies. The high content of iron in most formulas increase the chances that you will find a green stool in their diapers.
- With medications, your child’s stool will return to its regular light yellow to brown colors when you complete the drugs. With supplements and formula, your baby’s digestive system will learn to adjust and break down the high iron content more quickly.
- If you are still concerned, keep an eye out for any other symptoms and contact your pediatrician for a consultation
Color of the Foods They Ate
Did you recently have a St. Patrick’s Day party filled with green treats and goodies? If you discover green stool in your children’s diapers or toilet, that may be a good cause. According to the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, unusual colored stools (such as green stools in children) is very often due to food coloring and food additives.
Other more natural foods that can cause green stool in children includes eating lots of green and leafy veggies. Believe it or not, but eating foods that contain dark purple dyes or even Black Twizzlers can be a huge cause of green stool!
- An excellent way to determine whether the green stool your child had was caused by their diet (sometimes you just aren’t sure) is to isolate suspected foods that could have caused the green colored poop.
- Try to take the particular food, whether it’s cabbage, broccoli or any foods containing green, blue, or purple dyes out of your child’s regular meals and snacks for at least 3 days. If the green stool disappears and normal colored stools return, the culprit is most likely something your child ingested.
Serious Symptoms to Worry About with Green Stool
Not to be taken lightly, green stools can be a symptom of something much more severe than your typical case of diarrhea or eating green eggs. Here are some things to watch out for that should prompt you to give your pediatrician a quick call to verify:
Green stools followed with fevers and abdominal cramps: Food poisoning caused by bacterial infections from the likes of E. coli should be monitored with caution. The symptoms of this common cause of food poisoning in children should not last longer than three days. If the problem persists, a doctor should be consulted with immediately.
Noticeable amounts of mucus in the green stool: Mucus in green stools usually indicate an impediment in the breakdown process of bile in the digestive system. Per Just-health, many disorders such as Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and reflux disease, can disrupt the digestive process causing green stools.
The best action to take is to consult with your family doctor or pediatrician for the best way for treatment.
Since green stool is usually associated with diarrhea and potentially other digestive ailments, it is vital to monitor your child’s overall well-being to determine the seriousness of having green stool.
If your child acts unusually tired or exhibits dry mouth or tongue, crying with no tears coming out, and sunken eyes – please contact your doctor immediately as your child is showing signs of dehydration. When untreated, can lead to detrimental outcomes.
It’s very normal to see a green stool in your children’s diapers or potty. The color change shouldn’t alarm you unless your child exhibits other symptoms of illness that should be checked by a professional.
Most identifiable green stool in children can be attributed to simple changes in diets which come to pass quickly. If you have had other experiences that caused green stool in your child or if you have any further questions, please comment below!