You can’t change the past or the present, but you can change the future.

Stools - Unusual Color

Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Strange colors of the stool are almost always due to food coloring. * The only colors that may relate to disease are red, black and white. * All other colors are not due to a medical problem. * Here is some care advice that should help.
  • GREEN STOOLS: * Green color of the stools is always normal. Most often, green stools are caused by bile. * Green stools are more common in formula fed than breastfed infants. But, they can be normal with both. * Green stools are more common with diarrhea. This is due to a fast transit time through the gut. However, formed stools may also be green. This is normal and nothing to worry about. * If your child takes iron, be sure your child is not taking too much.
  • AVOID: * Don't eat the suspected food. * Don't drink the suspected drink. * The strange stool color should go away within 48 hours.
  • SAMPLE: * If the strange stool color doesn't go away, bring in a sample. * Keep it in the refrigerator until you leave.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Strange color without a cause lasts more than 24 hours * Suspected food is stopped and strange color lasts more than 48 hours * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Remove the cause of the unusual color from the diet. * Then the stool should change back to normal color. * This should happen within 48 hours or 2 stools later.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

The search for nearby emergency and urgent care facilities is based upon Google search parameters. You will get results based on how facilities manage their website information.

By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither publishers nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any expressed or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.