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


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Pedialyte is often considered a go-to when babies 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.

What is Pedialyte and What is it Used For?

Oh, dear. Your child has been vomiting or has diarrhea or maybe both at the same time. It’s important that you keep their electrolytes up and that they stay hydrated to make up for what’s coming out of them. Pedialyte is the most common liquid that is given to a child who needs to be hydrated. The main concern with the product is its life once it has been opened and when it should be thrown out.

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 body water, which can lead to dehydration. It’s vital for the body to have the proper amount of minerals and fluids for normal functioning.

While water can certainly help replenish fluids lost in the body, Pedialyte goes one step forward by adding those electrolytes into the mixture to help balance those components in the body. Additionally, Pedialyte often has flavors that encourage babies and toddlers to drink it without treating it as medicine and putting up a fight.

What is Dehydration?

Generally, children lose body 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.

They can show symptoms such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sticky mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Little to no tears when crying
  • Soft spot is sunken (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 is 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.

Does Pedialyte Ever Expire?

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 if the use-by date has passed. It is suggested that you do not use it after the date has passed.

However, people still tend to use it, but the effects may not be as strong as it would if it were still good. So to a certain extent, it does “expire”, but it may still be used.

Now, if the Pedialyte has already been opened, this is a whole new ballgame. 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 that will let you mix up smaller portions and reduce waste. These are also super handy to throw into a diaper bag or bring on family vacations so you don’t have to pay a premium at a drug store when you aren’t at home and have a sick baby!

Pedialyte Ingredients

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)

Does Pedialyte Have An Expiration Date?

Pedialyte does have an expiration date. The expiration date can be found stamped on the bottle for the liquid version. It may be found on the bottom or the top.

For the Pedialyte powder packs, 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 two years. So you can stock up on it for future use. This also applies to the powder packs. The freezer pops, however, only last 6-8 months in the freezer.

How to Store Pedialyte

You should store the Pedialyte at room temperature and keep it out of your child’s reach. You can store opened Pedialyte in the refrigerator. 48-hours for liquid and one-hour for powder mixture. Uneaten freezer pops should be immediately discarded once used.

Does Pedialyte Need to be Refrigerated?

Pedialyte only needs to be refrigerated once it has been opened. Once it has been opened, 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.

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 if your doctor says it’s alright. If you breastfeed, you can continue to do this while you give your baby the Pedialyte.

When to Not Use Pedialyte

Your child should not use Pedialyte if they have an allergy to any ingredients on the list, has a blockage in their intestines or a hole in their bowel,  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.

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Josh

I'm the dad in charge of Natural Baby life. With 10 years of parenting experience across three children, I am constantly learning how to raise children more naturally. I'm passionate about doing whatever it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby! Find out more about me here.

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