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Toddler Has Yellow Poop? When to Worry

\As we potty train our little ones, it is common to inspect their work after they finish. Checking is an excellent way to know how they are feeling about different solid foods and their health in general. Poop is an excellent indication of well-being and can be the first sign of something wrong inside the body. The healthy brown color characteristic of stool is caused by the bile salts and retired red blood cells. The color of our stool naturally varies with our diets, as well as other factors like stress and medications. With all the different causes, it is difficult to know when to visit a doctor, especially for a toddler. Here are six different reasons your child may have a yellow stool.

Too Much Color

A well-rounded diet is full of healthy vegetables of all colors. Pureed sweet potatoes and carrots can be a convenient and delicious way to get toddlers to eat their veggies. However, these two foods, in particular, are extremely high in the vitamin A precursor, beta-carotene. Vitamin A can cause temporary yellowing of the face and hands in some people. It can also scare some parents with the yellow color of their child’s stool. However, it is harmless and will go away as the child gets used to eating the high amounts of beta-carotene. Other foods are the turmeric herb or food coloring, both of which can be found in various processed snack foods.


The nervous system is undeniably linked to the digestive system. It’s not just what we are eating, but also how we are feeling in terms of how a meal digests. The body takes stress very seriously, releasing adrenaline if frightening enough. Along with the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine hinder the process of absorbing food. Lower absorption leads to digestion problems like diarrhea and yellow stool. It’s not easy to gauge the stress levels of a toddler, but there are tricks to ease the digestion process. Simply slowing down meal times is a great way to ensure a calm mind while eating.


If you’ve ever drunk non-potable or untreated water and gotten a stomach-ache, you may have had giardiasis. It is a protozoan parasite triggering upset in the small intestine, sometimes known as “beaver fever.” The characteristics of the infection are fever, headaches, stomach cramps, and yellow diarrhea. Giardiasis is not an easy infection for anyone to face, let alone a toddler. However, it is easy to spot what is wrong, and a hospital trip can be necessary. Depending on the severity, a course of antibiotics can be expected, and the disease can last several weeks.

Many different intestinal bacteria can cause the more general condition of the Traveler’s Diarrhea. Like giardiasis, symptoms include fever and diarrhea, as well as vomiting. Go to the hospital if diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours, or there’s a fever of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless recommended by a doctor, do not give toddlers and young children anti-diarrheal medications like Pepto-Bismol. These medications contain harmful chemicals which can easily accumulate to toxic levels in the bodies of children. Instead, make sure your toddler stays hydrated with electrolyte solutions and water and gets plenty of rest.

Celiac Disease

Celtics is an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining cells in the small intestine when the gluten protein is ingested. Gluten is commonly found in wheat, barley, rye, and certain brands of rolled oats. The disease can run in families but does not necessarily have a genetic component. Signs can appear early in a child’s life and have symptoms of nausea, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, and yellow stool. The damaged intestinal wall causes it cannot properly absorb the nutrients from food, leading to malnutrition and absorption. There is no cure for Celiac disease. However, it can be treated effectively by eliminating gluten from the diet.

Besides gluten, your child may develop an allergy to another type of food, causing poor absorption and yellow stools. Common allergies can be lactose intolerance from dairy products, as well as to soy. Along with gluten, these two foods are the most common to trigger intestinal trouble in toddlers. If you suspect an ingredient in your child’s diet is causing digestive distress, try avoiding the particular food. If you have any concerns, talk to your pediatrician about an allergy test for your toddler.

Pancreatic Problems

The pancreas handles the release of dietary enzymes, which help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins after a meal. If an issue arises hindering the pancreas’s ability to do its job, food is poorly absorbed, which causes loose and yellow stools. The most common disease of the pancreas affecting toddlers is cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease in which the body produces excess mucus, which blocks the lungs and pancreatic duct.

Most people diagnosed with the disease are done so before the age of two. Though there is no cure, through treatment advances, those diagnosed with CF can live much longer lifespans than before. Around 1000 new cases are diagnosed in the US every year and occur only if both parents are carriers.

Gallbladder or Liver Issues

The gallbladder store bile salts, the compound is handling the break down of fats in the small intestine. The gallbladder is connected to the liver, where the bile is both made and secreted. The liver is also responsible for the filtration of the bloodstream as it carries away chemicals from the digestive system. The absence of bile in the intestines after a meal would result in fatty stools, which are both greasy and yellow. Moreover, an overproduction of bile would result in mucus-filled stools, which also give off a yellow or pale appearance. Serious liver diseases like hepatitis and even cirrhosis can occur in infants starting early after birth. A genetic liver condition is known as

Gilbert’s Syndrome can cause jaundice and yellow stool. Though it affects as much as 7% of the US population, it is underdiagnosed and commonly left untreated. Symptoms can be so mild. Many people do not even realize they have the disease.

Problems with the gallbladder are not typical issues in toddlers and children. However, they can occur on occasion. Gallstones are the most common gallbladder related condition. These are easy to spot, as they can cause quite a bit of pain after meals, warranting a trip to the hospital. In any case, if you have any concerns about your child’s stool, always talk to your pediatrician. Though it can sometimes be natural bodily changes, your toddler’s stool is a good indicator if something is wrong.

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