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Overview

Yellow Alert is Children’s Liver Disease Foundation’s awareness campaign, promoting the early identification of liver disease in infants and their referral. It is vital that liver disease in newborn babies is identified and treated as early as possible.

Liver disease is rare but serious. Early diagnosis is vital. It can save lives and lead to better health outcomes. The following stool charts explain the key indicators health professionals should be aware of.

Healthy stools

  • A healthy baby's stools can be any of these colours
  • Do not worry about green stools
  • Breast-fed babies often pass watery stools
  • A sudden change to frequent watery stools of any colour may mean the baby is unwell
  • Breast-fed babies—often the stool colour is daffodil yellow
  • Bottle-fed babies—often the stool colour is English mustard yellow

Figure 1: Yellow Alert stool chart healthy stools

yellow alert stool chart healthy stools

© Children's Liver Disease Foundation 2018. Reproduced with permission. 

Note: Digital printing or photocopying of these colours will alter them as can different screen settings. These are an indicator only. Only use items supplied by the Children's Liver Disease Foundation.

Suspect stools

  • In babies with liver disease the stools may be one of the colours below
  • Do not worry about one or two stools that look unusual
  • Don't forget to look at the urine colour—in a new born baby it should be colourless
  • Any baby with stools the colour below—whatever the age, should be investigated for liver disease

Figure 2: Yellow Alert stool chart suspect stools

yellow alert stool chart suspect stools

© Children's Liver Disease Foundation 2018. Reproduced with permission. 

Note: Digital printing or photocopying of these colours will alter them as can different screen settings. These are an indicator only. Only use items supplied by the Children's Liver Disease Foundation.

  • Prolonged jaundice=jaundice persisting beyond 2 weeks of age in term babies and 3 weeks in pre-term babies
  • Persistently yellow urine staining the nappy can be a sign of liver disease
  • Persistently pale coloured stools may indicate liver disease
  • All babies with pale stools and yellow urine should be referred to a paediatrician for investigation
  • All babies with prolonged jaundice should have a split bilirubin test

 

Resources required can be downloaded or ordered for free from this link— www.childliverdisease.org/health-professionals

Full guideline:

Children's Liver Disease Foundation. Children's Liver Disease Foundation. Yellow Alert stool chart. Available from: www.yellowalert.org/For-Professionals

Published date: March 2016.

Last updated: 2018.