From dehydration to hangovers, Pedialyte is a long-touted cure for a variety of common ailments. Because it's so popular, it can be easy to forget that it's actually a product for children who are dehydrated due to diarrhea or vomiting.
Like any product made specifically for kids, parents should exercise caution and read up on the pros and cons before giving it to their child. It would be foolish to purchase something without knowing what it's about. Here are 10 things about Pedialyte that all parents should know.
Dehydration is dangerous for anyone, but it's especially dangerous for children because they often aren't able to replenish their lost fluids on their own. Their young minds aren't wired like adults to monitor their fluid intake. And babies, well, they can't tell you what they need at all.
Pedialyte's purpose is to quickly replace the fluids, minerals, and electrolytes that young children lose through diarrhea and vomiting. It has the added task of being sweet enough that children will actually ingest it.
9 It Functions As A Fluid And Mineral Replacement
Our bodies depend on a special combination of minerals and electrolytes to function properly. As we lose fluid, through sickness or diarrhea, that critical combination is thrown off and dehydration can set in.
Dehydration is unpleasant enough on its own, but pair it with other illnesses and a hospital visit might be in your future. By this point, water isn't enough on its own to replenish your baby. Meanwhile, Pedialyte is formulated to mimic the exact ratio of minerals and electrolytes that your baby needs. Plus, it's sweet!
8 It's Not Safe For Babies Under One
Pedialyte is a product for children, but it's not made for babies under one year old. This is because dehydration is especially dangerous in babies so young, so if you suspect that your baby is dehydrated, it's probably not wise to skip the hospital visit.
You'd do well to get your baby in front of a doctor, even if it means heading to the emergency room. From there, the doctor may or may not order Pedialyte for them. Or, they might decide they need something else altogether. It's impossible to know.
7 You Don't Have To Be a Child To Benefit From It
Pedialyte is formulated for children, but it works on adults too. The primary reason that adults use Pedialyte is to help alleviate their hangovers. Since Pedialyte replenishes lost fluid, it's a perfect go-to for adults who've drunk too much.
Its effectiveness stems from the fact that alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it increases our need to urinate. Frequent urination can lead to dehydration, which is a major component of hangovers.
6 Your Baby Might Be Allergic
Pedialyte allergies are rare, but they do occur. Just like any allergic reaction, it can be serious and maybe even fatal if treatment isn't administered in a timely matter.
Allergic reactions, regardless of the type, in babies are especially severe, so it's important to monitor your baby closely after you give it to them. If you notice any unusual rashes or other unsavory reactions, you should head straight to the hospital, if possible. Or, call an ambulance. Whichever is quicker.
5 And There Might Be Side Effects
There are a few, usually harmless, side effects of drinking too much Pedialyte. It's not possible to overdose on it in the traditional sense, but it is possible to make yourself feel worse, instead of better.
Most of the side effects are related to Pedialyte's sodium content. Even though the body needs it to stay hydrated and healthy, too much sodium can cause the body to swell and retain water. It can also cause things like dizziness, nausea and headaches.
4 Caffiene And Alcohol Can Interfere With Its Effectiveness
Pedialyte is formulated by professional dietitians, who know the ratio of sugar to electrolytes needed to get the body back in order. Because of this, it's important to use the directed amount and to not dilute or concentrate it.
Likewise, it is also possible for other things, like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol to interfere with its effectiveness. So, it's best not to ingest them simultaneously.
3 It Can't Replace Breast Milk
Pedialyte does a great deal of good, but it's not a miracle tonic. Babies need to be more than hydration to thrive. They also need concentrated nutrients and other vitamins byways of breast milk (or formula). Therefore, Pedialyte should never be used as a meal replacement for breast milk.
In fact, nothing, other than formula, can (until the baby is eating solid food). Breast milk is nature's built-in, all-natural food supply for babies. Not only is it easy on their digestive system, it's packed full of nutrients and antibodies a healthy, growing baby needs to stay well.
2 It Comes In Multiple Forms
Small children are notorious for being picky. If something isn't the perfect texture, flavor and color, they're likely not going to eat it. Thankfully, Pedialyte comes in several different forms.
There's the original beverage, which is available in several yummy flavors. Then, there are the freezer pops, which your child might not even realize aren't an ordinary treat. For adults, who may need it, Pedialyte also comes in individual powder packs, similar to that of Crystal Light and other soft drink mixes.
1 You Can Make Your Own DIY Version, But You Probably Shouldn't
Pedialyte's formula comprised of the minerals and electrolytes in our body that get depleted through dehydration. This means that anyone with the right ingredients can create Pedialyte-like drink at home, but it doesn't necessarily mean they should.
It's impossible to for someone to recreate the delicate ratio of sugar and electrolytes without more sophisticated equipment. Plus, it's really easy to add too much of one ingredient or leave something out all together.
It's probably better to be safe than sorry and just stick with store-bought. If you do decide to make your own, however, you should make sure that you don't, under any circumstance, give it to a child under 12.