Abnormal-looking stool (poop)

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An easy-to-understand overview of the signs, symptoms and medical options for children with unusual stool (poop).

Key points

  • Most changes in stool are due to a change in diet.
  • Runny green or seedy mustard-coloured stool is common in breastfed babies.
  • Pale stool accompanied by yellowish skin and eyes or dark urine may indicate a liver problem. Ontario has a new provincial screening program for a liver problem called biliary atresia. If you have concerns your newborn infant has pale-coloured stool, you can now contact Newborn Screening Ontario directly.
  • Red and jelly-like stool is an emergency. Call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. Do not give your child anything to eat or drink until they are seen by a doctor.
  • Small amounts of blood lining the stool are common in children who are constipated. This is not an emergency.
Last updated: July 21st 2023