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Green Toddler Poop?

My toddler’s poop is green! Should I be worried?
ByMichael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pediatrician
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Isn’t parenthood glamorous? You used to worry about the color of your shoes or your living room carpet. Now, you’re talking about green poop.

As unsettling as it may be, green poop can actually be perfectly normal. Kids’ digestive systems work a bit more quickly than ours, so it’s not uncommon to see undigested bits of food and colorful remnants from previous meals and snacks. Indulging on strawberries, for instance, can result in red poop. Power slamming artificially colored orange drink can lead to reddish-orange poops; you might think you’re seeing blood, but really, it’s just the artificial color from the orange drink.

Green poop can be the result of eating lots of green, leafy veggies. Or drinking and eating foods that contain dark purple dye. Black Twizzlers can lead to green poop too!

Doctors tend to worry about three colors of poop: white, red and tarry black. White poop can be a sign of biliary atresia, a condition that affects the liver and bile ducts. Black, tarry stools can signal digestive problems too, and red poo can result from internal and rectal bleeding — or not, so use your common sense in deciding whether or not to call the doctor. (If your child just ate a ton of red Jell-O, odds are that the red is from the Jell-O, not blood.) When in doubt, call the doctor anyway, just in case.

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