Black Stools in Children

Written by cassie skelley
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Black stool in children can be from a variety of things, from what your child is eating to medications they might be taking that do not agree with their body. Black stool signifies that their is bleeding in the child's gastrointestinal tract. This problem should be remedied as soon as possible. Learn what to do if your child has black stool.

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There are many things that can cause a child to have black stool. Eating a lot of iron-rich foods like beats and spinach can cause the colour change. Also, foods with black and dark blue food colouring can die the stool. Taking high amonts of iron supplements, bismuth medication or eating black liquorice can make stool black. Taking a high amount of fever medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can cause the upper gastrointestinal tract to bleed, causing black stool. A lack of proper blood flow to the lower intestines may also be a cause.

What Does It Mean?

When your child's stool turns black, it can mean that they ate certain foods that die their stool or it can be because blood is being introduced into the digestive system from the gastrointestinal tract. This can be from the oesophagus, stomach or the small intestine. The blood turns black once it has been exposed to the body's digestive fluids.


You can help remedy black stool and prevent it from happening by giving your child food that is rich in fibre and low in saturated fat. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your body hydrated and aids in digestion. Avoid using pain and fever medications to help prevent the upper gastrointestinal tract from bleeding. Refrain from eating foods that are died black or deep blue and also other foods that cause black stool.

Doctor Visit

If the condition is serious and a doctor visit is necessary, there will be some questions that your doctor will ask so that he can understand the situation better. Telling you child to answer these questions truthfully will allow the doctor to help with the problem. When you reach the doctor's office, he may perform an endoscopy or other special X-rays. The doctor will need to ask your child if there is blood on the toilet paper, when the condition developed, if the child has had fever medication, if the child has eaten any specific foods or food colourings and how long has the problem existed. The doctor can prescribe medications to treat the problem and discuss methods to prevent the black stool colour.

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