After being cooped up indoors all winter, kids love to run around outside on nice spring days. But if they have seasonal allergies, being outdoors can make them miserable by the end of the day. Here’s how to tell if your child has allergies and how to help them get relief so they can enjoy spring playtime.
How to Tell the Difference Between Colds and Allergies in Kids
Since cold symptoms can be similar to allergy symptoms, parents often assume their children have colds when they start to sniffle and sneeze. But there are a few key things to look for to decipher symptoms of allergies vs. colds:
Clear drainage. With allergies, drainage is thin and clear instead of thick and gooey as in colds.
Itching. Allergies cause itchy nose, ears, eyes and throat, and colds usually don’t.
No fever. Colds sometimes cause fevers, but allergies never do.
Duration of symptoms. Allergy symptoms last longer than a typical 7-10 day cold.
Daily patterns. If symptoms are present when the child goes outside but get better when they come in, or are worse during the morning which is peak time for pollen, allergies are likely.
How to Help Your Child Feel Better
If you suspect your child has seasonal allergies, the first thing to do is keep them indoors during peak allergen hours (between 6 a.m. and noon) and on dry, windy days. It’s best to go out in the afternoons or after it has rained.
To help keep your child comfortable after he comes inside, have him remove his clothes and rinse off in the shower to remove pollen or other allergens from his skin and hair. This along with a fresh set of clothes will allow him to breathe easier.
Over the counter medications such as decongestants and antihistamines may help, but it’s best to talk to a doctor before deciding what he should take. The doctor may recommend more effective allergy treatments.
How Sound Health Doctors Treat Allergies in Kids
Doctors at Sound Health Services treat each child as an individual. We carefully evaluate their symptoms and if necessary, administer skin tests to determine what allergens are causing their discomfort. If our doctors believe symptoms could be relieved with allergy shots, we will discuss a treatment plan that consists of gradually introducing the allergen into the child’s body so his immune system eventually learns to tolerate it. Allergy shots have proven very effective when treating allergies in kids.
Make an Appointment With a Sound Health Today
If you’re not sure how to tell the difference in allergies vs. colds or would like to see an allergist for your child, give us a call at (314) 332-1377. We look forward to speaking with you.