If your child begins to exhibit stool that is not a normal color it can cause alarm. A child’s stool is likely to vary based on the type of food they have most recently eaten. However, white stool is cause for concern. Stools that are chalky, white with a yellow tint or light gray may appear in normal conditions or appear when your child has diarrhea. To help your doctor determine the exact color of the stool, save a sample that you can present to your pediatric specialist.
Causes of White Poop in Toddler
- Bile Duct Cysts. Bile gives faeces its green or brown color while bile duct cysts blocks bile from flowing into the gallbladder. This condition can also produce a blockage that limits bile pigment production which can cause the stool to become pale. This is typically accompanied by dark urine and jaundice.
- Viral Hepatitis. Being infected by virus, the liver fails to produce proper amount of bile for digestion and thus cause white or pale stool. Hepatitis does not typically cause problems for some children, but this condition is very dangerous so if there is any risk that hepatitis is causing white stool in your child you should seek medical assistance right away. This will help you prevent others from becoming exposed to the infection. If you suspect a drug may be causing hepatitis symptoms in your child, stop using it immediately.
- Malabsorption. Malabsorption refers to a condition where the body is not digesting nutrients properly, which may lead to a pale colored stool when the body is deprived of vitamins and minerals that it needs. A variety of conditions can lead to malabsorption, a visit to the pediatrician is needed.
- Biliary Atresia. This condition is a birth defect that causes a blockage in the ducts which move bile to the gallbladder from the liver. The symptoms of this condition will be very similar to those of bile duct cysts. This condition should be investigated immediately to prevent cirrhosis of the liver.
- Gut Infection. Gastroeteritis or the stomach flu can be caused by a virus, bacteria or parasites and causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. Besides white poop, this infection can also cause chills, fever, vomiting, achiness, diarrhea or abdominal pain. The severity of these symptoms will vary in severity and may last for hours or days depending on what has caused the infection.
- Other Causes. Some less common, non-liver related reasons for white stool include the application of antacids, anti-fungal medications, antibiotics or placing your child on an all-milk diet.
- This is simply a sampling of the conditions that could cause white stool to appear in your toddler. Dozens of conditions ranging from mild to very serious conditions could be leading to these symptoms. Speak to your doctor and offer a sample of the off-colored stool to ensure that you are administering the proper treatment to manage your child’s condition.
Treatments for White Poop in Toddler
The treatment to be administered will vary based on what is determined to be causing the white stool.
- In general, making sure your child consumes enough water and fibrous foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables will help promote digestive health.
- Avoid serving your child fatty foods, sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates that put additional strain on the digestive system and ultimately the liver.
- If the cause of the white stool is severe your child may need to undergo treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery.
Preventions for White Poop in Toddler
- Maintain Their Diet Healthy. Increasing your child’s intake of fluids and fibrous foods such as fruit, fruit juices, vegetables, whole-grain breads, cereals and beans will make it easier for them to pass stool. Eliminate fatty foods or low fiber foods that can contribute to abnormal bowel movement or stool.
- Help Them Keep Good Habits. Healthy bowel management habits will help prevent further abnormal excretion conditions. Try to create a regular bathroom schedule for your child, allowing them to use the bathroom after meals or any time they feel the urge to make a bowel movement. Allow your child to sit on the toilet for 10 minutes each time they use the bathroom with a stool placed under their feet to make it easier for them to push. Allow your child to think of using the bathroom as a positive experience by rewarding each successful visit to the toilet with a reward such as a sticker.
- Encourage Them to Exercise. Encouraging your toddler to get 30-60 minutes of exercise/play per day will help to prevent abnormal bowel movement or stool as well.