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Child having dark brown loose stools. Should be concerned?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
My daughter has come home from school saying she wanted to poo but couldn't, to then have really dark brown diahorrea, she says she feels fine but then went to toilet again a couple of hours later and said that just brown water came out, should i be worried?
Posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Radhika 5 hours later
Thanks for the query.

I believe the more information a person gives the better is the doctor's reply, please do not mind in answering the following:
1. Does she complain of stomach ache?
2. Does she have fever, vomiting etc?
3. Did she have any food outside recently?

There are many causes of diarrhea like food poisoning caused by toxins produced by bacteria, viral gastroenteritis, and parasitic infections. Certain medications cause these like non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, allergy to lactose, carbohydrate she should stop taking it immediately.
If she has any of the following like moderate or severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, severe diarrhea that shows no improvement after 48 hours, dehydration, severe vomiting then she should be taken to the hospital.

In the meanwhile you can give her oral rehydration fluids like Pedialyte. Foods like rice, cereal, bananas, potatoes, and lactose-free products.
You have not mentioned the age of the child; Pepto-Bismol can be given depending upon her age.

If diarrhea continues 3 to 4 times she will need to give her stool for culture and undergo physical examination by a Physician.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child having dark brown loose stools. Should be concerned? 5 hours later
Thank you for your reply. My Daugher is 6 in April, she isn't complaining of stomach ache, feels abit warm to touch but not excessively hot. As far as I am aware she hasn't eaten anything outside and she is eating her meals as normal ie she isn't off her food.
Answered by Dr. Radhika 15 minutes later
Thanks for the reply.

If she does not have any of the symptoms except feeling warm, there are chances of a bacterial or viral infection. I would suggest that you continue the Pedialyte as maintaining hydration is the most important aspect here. Additionally, you can start her on sporolac XXXXXXX in 1 glass of water once daily for 5 days. If she develops fever, it is essential that you take her to a physician who can then prescribe appropriate antibiotics. Additionally, give her Children Tylenol Suspension Liquid (which contains 160mg/5ml paracetamol) 2 tsp twice a day as and when needed.
A well balanced, light diet is also very important. Attention also needs to be paid to hygiene whenever she is having her meals and using the rest room.
I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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