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Does Pedialyte Expire or Go Bad (When To Throw It Out!)

Does Pedialyte Expire or Go Bad? (When To Throw It Out!)

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Pedialyte is often a go-to when babies or toddlers are dealing with dehydration from illnesses such as diarrhea and vomiting. Since it isn’t used often, however, parents might wonder is Pedialyte expires or goes bad over time.

Pedialyte should be discarded within 48-hours of being opened according to the manufacturer but it could likely last much longer when properly stored in the refrigerator. Unopened, Pedialyte can be stored at room temperature until the date on the package, usually about 2 years.

If you want to know more about Pedialyte and the effects it could have on your child if consumed after 48-hours, keep reading.

Mom taking care of sick child in bed

Does Pedialyte expire or go bad?

It happens to the best of us. We reach into the cupboard to grab the Pedialyte and the expiration date has passed. The question is whether or not it can still be used after the use-by date. According to the manufacturer, Pedialyte does expire and shouldn’t be used after the expiration date.

However, people still tend to use it. If Pedialyte is unopened but past the expiration date,  the effects may not be as strong as they would be if it were still good.

Does opened Pedialyte go bad?

Now, if the Pedialyte has already been opened, this is a different story. Once it has been opened, it has to be used within 48-hours. When it’s opened, microorganisms that live in the environment may invade the product whether from air or direct contact.

Additionally, if a person has bacteria on their hands, it can get into the product. This is known as touch contamination. The bacteria will slowly grow while refrigerated, but it will become significant over time. Children who already have gastroenteritis are at more risk for an additional infection from the bacteria since their immune system is already compromised.

I should add that you can get around the issue of wasting a big container of opened Pedialyte by picking up a box of Pedialyte powder packets right here.

These are just single-serving packets of Pedialyte powder so you can mix up smaller portions and reduce waste. They’re also super handy to throw into a diaper bag or bring on family vacations so you don’t have to pay more at a drug store when you aren’t at home and have a sick baby!

What is Pedialyte and what is it used for?

If your child has been vomiting or has diarrhea or even both at the same time, it’s important that you keep their electrolytes up. Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly cause dehydration, so children with these kinds of illnesses need to stay hydrated to make up for what’s coming out of them.

Pedialyte is the most common liquid given to a child who needs to be hydrated. Simply put, Pedialyte is a liquid that is used to replace the fluids and minerals in one’s body due to vomiting or diarrhea.

It helps prevent and/or treat the excessive loss of water in the body, which can lead to dehydration. Proper hydration is vital for your body to function properly.

While water can certainly help replenish fluids lost in the body, Pedialyte goes one step forward by adding electrolytes into the mix to help balance those components in the body. Overall, here are some of the benefits of Pedialyte:

  • Made with kids in mind
  • Contains electrolytes to quickly rehydrate
  • Easy to use pre-made or with Pedialyte packets

Additionally, Pedialyte comes in different flavors that encourage babies and toddlers to drink it without treating it as medicine and putting up a fight.

What is dehydration?

Children lose water each day when they sweat, cry, pee, and poop. Their bodies generally replace this fluid and salt loss through their normal diet. However, when kids lose excess amounts of water and salt, such as when they are vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, they may become dehydrated.

When children are dehydrated, they can show symptoms such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sticky mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Little to no tears when crying
  • Sunken soft spot (babies)
  • Less pee or less frequent wet diapers
  • Cool and dry skin
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Children who have mild dehydration will most likely appear thirsty and it’s advised that they drink as much water as they need to. Children who have mild to moderate dehydration from an illness, such as gastroenteritis, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting, should be rehydrated with an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte.

What are the ingredients of Pedialyte?

A lot of parents wonder what’s in Pedialyte that rehydrates their child. Here is the active ingredient list:

Liquid Unflavored Pedialyte

  • Sodium chloride
  • Dextrose
  • Potassium citrate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Water
  • Citric acid

Fruit-Flavored Pedialyte

  • Dextrose
  • Sodium chloride
  • Potassium citrate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Water
  • Citric acid
  • Artificial fruit flavor
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6

Grape-Flavored Pedialyte

  • Dextrose
  • Sodium chloride
  • Potassium citrate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Water
  • Citric acid
  • Artificial grape flavor
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • FD&C Red No. 40
  • FD&C Blue No. 1

Pedialyte Freezer Pops

  • Water
  • Dextrose
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium chloride
  • Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
  • Potassium citrate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Natural and artificial grape flavor (grape)
  • FD&C Red No. 40 (grape)
  • FD&C Blue No. 1 (grape)
  • Artificial cherry flavor (cherry)
  • FD&C Red No. 40 (cherry)
  • Natural and artificial orange flavor (orange)
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6 (orange)
  • FD&C Red No. 40 (orange)
  • Natural and artificial blue raspberry flavor (blue raspberry)
  • FD&C Blue No. 1 (blue raspberry)

Although Pedialyte is made with kids in mind, if you have any specific concerns about using it for your child, always consult with their doctor first.

Mom writing down symptoms of sick child

Does Pedialyte have an expiration date?

Pedialyte does have an expiration date. The expiration date can be found stamped on the top or bottom of the bottle for the liquid version. For the Pedialyte powder packs, they also have an expiration date on the box or individual packets and you must use them within 24-hours of being mixed.

How long does Pedialyte last unopened?

The good news about the expiration is that if the bottle is unopened, it lasts about two years. This also applies to the powder packs. The freezer pops, however, only last 6-8 months in the freezer. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that some factors will affect the shelf life of unopened Pedialyte, such as:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Light

All of these factors can directly impact the effectiveness of the Pedialyte and shorten its shelf-life. Make sure you follow the guidelines for proper storage.

How to store Pedialyte

Like most products, how you store Pedialyte is going to impact how long it stays good for. You should always store Pedialyte at room temperature and keep it out of your child’s reach.

Opened Pedialyte should be stored in the refrigerator, but keep in mind it’s only good for 48-hours once opened. The powder mixture is only good for one hour after mixing. Uneaten freezer pops should be immediately discarded once used.

Pedialyte should always be stored in a place that is:

  • Clean
  • Cool
  • Dry
  • Dark

Storing Pedialyte in a place that’s really bright, hot, or humid can impact the shelf-life or even make the Pedialyte go bad.

How long is Pedialyte good for after expiration date?

How long Pedialyte lasts is going to depend on several factors. If the Pedialyte liquid or packet is upopened, the shelf life is typically around two years. However, once you’ve opened the liquid, it must be used after 48 hours.

If you’re using a Pedialyte packet instead, once you mix it with water, use it within one hour. Using Pedialyte after that point can put you or your child at risk for an infection.

What will happen if you drink expired Pedialyte?

When you’re in desperate need of Pedialyte for your child, you may be tempted to use it after it’s gone bad. Although using unopened Pedialyte after the expiration date usually just means it’s not as effective, using opened Pedialyte that has gone bad can put your child at risk.

After Pedialyte has been opened, there may be bacteria in the liquid or open container. If your child consumes the Pedialyte, they may experience symptoms such as:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If your child accidentally consumed expired Pedialyte, keep an eye on them for any of these symptoms. When you’re not sure if the Pedialyte is good anymore, better to err on the side of caution and throw it out.

Sick child laying in mom's lap

How to use Pedialyte

Pedialyte usage depends on your child’s weight. Generally, the dosage is 100ml to 150ml per kilogram of body weight each day. If your child is vomiting, you should start with a small amount of solution and increase it slowly once the vomiting has decreased.

You should only use it on your infant after talking to their doctor. If you breastfeed, you can continue to do this while you give your baby the Pedialyte.

Does Pedialyte need to be refrigerated?

Pedialyte only needs to be refrigerated once it has been opened. After opening, you have 48-hours to use it while it’s refrigerated. If the bottle is unopened, it does not need to be refrigerated. It typically lasts 2-years unopened and unrefrigerated.

When not to use Pedialyte

Your child should not use Pedialyte if they have an allergy to any ingredients on the list, have a blockage in their intestines or a hole in their bowel,  or if there’s blood in their stool. If you cannot stop the child’s vomiting, this product should not be used and you should speak to a doctor immediately.

If your child’s diarrhea does not stop within 24-hours of taking Pedialyte, contact your child’s doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Pedialyte expire?

Yes, both liquid Pedialyte and Pedialyte packets do expire. If unopened, they last about two years on the shelf. After opening, the liquid must be used within 48 hours and the mixed powder must be used within an hour.

Can you use expired Pedialyte powder?

If the powder is not opened or mixed with water, using it after the expiration date may not harm your child, but it likely won’t be as effective as unexpired powder. If the powder has been opened, don’t use it after the expiration date.

Where is Pedialyte expiration date?

For liquid Pedialyte, the expiration date is on the top or bottom of the bottle. For Pedialyte packets, check the side of the packet or the box.

Does Pedialyte really go bad after 48 hours?

Yes, in a sense Pedialyte does go bad after 48 hours. After this time, there is a risk of contamination. Considering any bacteria can make your child even more sick, it’s not worth the risk to drink expired Pedialyte.


Pedialyte is a great thing to have on hand for the next time your child is sick. However, if you find some in the cabinet, you might wonder does Pedialyte expire? When it’s unopened, Pedialyte typically has a shelf-life of two years. Once it’s opened, liquid Pedialyte should be used within 48 hours or less.

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!

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