2 doctors weighed in:

Should i be concerned if my one-year-old child has black stool? My son has had charcoal black bowl movements over the past twelve hours. It does not have the usual odor associated. He seems to be acting fine. Should i be concerned?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laura McMullen
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Good

Good for you for knowing that black-colored stool can mean that there may be bleeding in the stomach or small intestine.
Now that being said, that is not the only reason for a black stool - it's just the most concerning. Benign causes of black stool to rule out first before seeking care are: black licorice or other black foods, blueberries or other dark blue foods, iron supplements or multivitamins with iron, or pepto-bismal. All of these can cause black stool. Another reason for your child to have black stool caused by blood, but of less concern is if he had a nosebleed a few hours before the black stool. Children (and adults) sometimes swallow a lot of blood with a nosebleed and that can also affect stool color. If your child has not been exposed to any of these and has continued to have black stool, he should be seen by his doctor. His doctor may want you to bring a stool sample to the appointment for testing to look for blood and/or other causes. Legal disclaimer: I am providing this general and basic information as a public service and my response to this question does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. For any additional information, advice, or specific concerns, please speak with your own physician. The information provided is current as of the date of the answer entry.

In brief: Good

Good for you for knowing that black-colored stool can mean that there may be bleeding in the stomach or small intestine.
Now that being said, that is not the only reason for a black stool - it's just the most concerning. Benign causes of black stool to rule out first before seeking care are: black licorice or other black foods, blueberries or other dark blue foods, iron supplements or multivitamins with iron, or pepto-bismal. All of these can cause black stool. Another reason for your child to have black stool caused by blood, but of less concern is if he had a nosebleed a few hours before the black stool. Children (and adults) sometimes swallow a lot of blood with a nosebleed and that can also affect stool color. If your child has not been exposed to any of these and has continued to have black stool, he should be seen by his doctor. His doctor may want you to bring a stool sample to the appointment for testing to look for blood and/or other causes. Legal disclaimer: I am providing this general and basic information as a public service and my response to this question does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. For any additional information, advice, or specific concerns, please speak with your own physician. The information provided is current as of the date of the answer entry.
Dr. Laura McMullen
Dr. Laura McMullen
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