How To Tell The Difference If Your Child Has A Cold Or Allergies

child blowing nose

With the weather changing in many parts of the country, there’s a good chance that your kids are bringing home plenty of cough, colds and sneezes. But as a parent, can you tell the difference if your child has a cold or of its just allergies? After all, there are lot of similar symptoms but also some things that you should look out for.

According to medical experts, if your child is coughing, sneezing, and feels congested, there’s a good chance that they may just have a cold. But at the same time, these symptoms could easily mean that they are also suffering from allergies.

So how can you tell the difference between a cold and seasonal allergies? One easy way is to have your child blow their nose. Look at the color: if it’s discolored yellow or green mucus, then there’s a chance that it’s a cold. If you just see a clear and watery nasal discharge, then it can mean your child has allergies.

Another good way to distinguish the difference between a cold and allergies is to check your child’s eyes. If they are suffering from allergies, there’s a good chance that their eyes might be red, itchy, watery, or even swollen. Dark circles are another sign of allergies. Your kids might get them if they are always rubbing their eyes. Take antihistamines to put a stop to symptoms like itchy, teary eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose.

girl sneezing
Credit: iStock / Kerkez

Other symptoms that are more specific to a cold include headaches, sore throats, muscle aches, and fevers. Also a cold should only last for a few days, while allergies tend to stick around for weeks, if not months at a time.

“I always tell my patients to track their ‘colds,’” Tim Mynes, D.O. and Area Medical Director, MedExpress told Simple Most. “If they notice that they typically develop a cold this time every year, they may actually have allergies.”

Cold symptoms generally last 7 to 10 days, whereas allergy symptoms continue with exposure to the allergen. If your child’s allergy symptoms persist, definitely contact a health professional to see if they can get tested.Allergic reactions can change over time, even disappearing in some cases. Although keep in mind that most people with allergies first develop them as children or infants.

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