I'm a pharmacist – here's what your child's poo says about their health and when you must see a GP | The Sun

WHEN it comes for going for a number two, most of us know our bowel habits and have a daily routine.

But that can be different for children and according to the NHS, it's quite common for little ones to become constipated.

Sometimes the colour, consistency and even the appearance of their poo can vary too.

Speaking to The Sun, pharmacist, Sultan Dajani from Docusol Paediatri, said your child’s poo, including its colour, frequency and consistency, tells you a lot about things, from what your child has been eating, how much fluid they've been drinking, the health of their gut, and it can also give you pointers on your child’s overall health.

Sultan said: "Poop is the last stage of digestion of the food and drink we consume.

"After swallowing food and drink it travels to the stomach, small intestine and large intestine (bowels), soaking up water and nutrients on the way.

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"By the time the food reaches the bowels it’s what is known as poop or poo, and it then passes out through the rectum and anus."

So what exactly should you be looking out for and when should you be concerned about your child's poo?

1. Colour

With regards to colour, your kid’s poo will normally be a shade of brown, tan, yellow or green.

However white, red or black poop may be a sign of disease or due to something your child has eaten.

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Sultan said: "White poop can be due to an all milk diet, or light grey or very pale yellow poop can be a sign of blocked bile ducts.

"Whilst black poop can be a sign of stomach bleeding it can also be caused by eating liquorice or grape juice.

"Red poop can be a sign of blood or disease, but can be due to foods such as tomato sauce or red frosting.

"If you think food is the cause, there is no need to do anything but if you can’t identify food as being a cause, then consult your GP."

2. Frequency

When it comes to how often your little one poos, your child should find it easy to pass poop at least four times a week, Sultan said.

"Ideally a child should pass some soft poop every day.

"If your child is not passing poop at least four times a week, he or she is likely to be constipated."

In order to remedy this, you should increase the amount of fibre in their diet with foods such as vegetables and whole grains, he explained.

He also recommends speaking to your pharmacist about over the counter remedies that might be able to help.

3. Overall appearance

In order to understand the appearance of your kid's poo, Sultan recommends looking at the Bristol Stool Scale (below).

He explained that a normal poop is a type of three or four (sausage shape and smooth and soft or with cracks) and does not look watery.

"Poop that looks like type five, six or seven (soft blobs, mushy or watery) is likely diarrhoea.

"In a young child with diarrhoea consult a pharmacist straight away.

"The pharmacist will refer you to the GP if necessary. Poop that looks like type one or two is likely constipation."

Again, he said you should increase the fibre content and try over the counter solutions.

If these measures don’t work and your child is grumpy and in pain, consult your GP.

4. Ease of passage

Finally, Sultan said your child's poo should be easy to pass and not a strain.

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"If your child is straining to pass poo, he or she may be constipated. But don’t leave your child constipated.

"Take action immediately as constipation can lead to further problems like piles and anal fissure (a tear or open sore near the anus)."

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