How to tell an allergy from a cold for kids

Every now and again, your kids will have a stuffy nose. But how can you tell if this common complaint is due to an allergy or the common cold? Here are some signs to look out for and what you can do if think you may be dealing with allergies.

Deciphering your symptoms: Allergies & allergens

According to Better Health Channel1, common symptoms of allergies or hayfever include sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, itchy ears, nose and throat and irritated eyes. The severity of symptoms can range from very mild to a severe level where they can interfere with day-to-day life. Of course, many of these symptoms are also similar to ones that manifest due to the common cold.

Once deciphered, look out for when symptoms appear.

If symptoms arise at the beginning of each new season, it might be allergies as these often appear due to certain pollens in the air. Eye complaints are also more common with allergies than they are for colds, according to KidsHealth.2 Colds and flus also often induce body aches, discoloured nasal discharge and even fever. A fever is a sure sign you are dealing with a virus or infection rather than an allergy.

If someone is continuously exposed to an allergen, their symptoms can last weeks or months, rather than a cold, which typically disappear more quickly. Allergies also tend to come on more suddenly upon exposure to the allergen, while colds will develop more gradually. If you’re unsure whether the kids have an allergy or a cold, remember your healthcare professional can always provide helpful advice to determine the causes and help you find a solution to avoid these frustrating symptoms in the future.