Category: 

What Can Cause Bloody Stool in Babies?

Article Details
  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A fortune cookie company was investigated for providing the winning lottery numbers on a fortune cookie message.  more...

November 28 ,  1943 :  The key leaders of the Allied forces during World War II met for the first time in Tehran, Iran.  more...

Allergic colitis and blocked intestines are possible causes of bloody stool in babies. In addition, red food dye can make a baby’s stool appear reddish and bloody, though the baby is likely unharmed by this. Some doctors note that most babies get bloody stool at least once, and it is usually nothing to be concerned about. To be on the safe side, it is important to check with the baby’s pediatrician whenever his or her health seems amiss.

Sometimes a baby will have an allergic reaction to something he or she or the mother consumed. For example, lactose and protein intolerances are common. A lactose intolerance occurs when the mother eats dairy products and then breastfeeds her child or if the child is fed with infant formula rather than breast milk. Protein intolerences are usually the fault of formulas that contain soy. In all cases, the allergen can be avoided and the bloody stool should lessen and disappear.

Intussusception happens when part of a baby’s bowel slides into another part. This traffic jam creates a blockage, leaving the baby unable to pass some stool. The stool that is passed is usually thick, jelly-like, and red. Bloody stool in babies caused by such a blockage is often accompanied by a swollen abdomen, grunts of pain, and vomiting. Blocked intestines signify an emergency situation that needs treatment right away.

Ad

Red food dye is usually a harmless cause of apparently bloody stool in babies. It colors the baby’s stool a pink or red color, which can easily be mistaken for blood. On the other hand, most infants do not eat foods with dyes in them before they start on solid foods at four to six months of age. Bloody stool may therefore be cause for concern if the baby has not consumed any foods with red dye in them.

While some doctors are dismissive of bloody stool in babies that does not reoccur, it is safest to err on the side of caution. Taking a quick mental note of the texture and color of the stool and then calling a health professional can put a parent’s mind at ease and help prevent serious problems from getting worse. In many cases, a nurse or doctor can say offhand whether a baby’s stool requires a doctor’s visit. If the health professional is unsure, he or she will ask for an appointment to ensure the baby’s health.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email