If Your Child Is Under Age 1 It’s Likely A Cold
It is unusual for a child under 1 year old to be diagnosed with seasonal allergies. “With allergies, you typically must be exposed to things a number of times to get an allergic response,” explains Dr. Lee. “It’s not that a baby can’t have an allergic reaction to something during the first year of life, but typical seasonal allergies usually involve older kids.”
Find Out The Root Cause Of Your Toddler’s Suffering
While at-home treatments can help relieve symptoms, its important to ask a medical professional about the medicine you intend to administer to your child. Even medications sold over the counter can pose issues for some children.
If your toddlers symptoms wont go away, an allergy could be the culprit. At Bethel Family Medicine, we offer pediatric care and can help you treat and prevent allergic reactions.
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When Allergies And Illness Co
Remember that children with seasonal allergies can still get sick. With chronic nasal congestion, people dont clear germs as well from the nose. Therefore, they can get more viruses and those viruses can linger longer, Dr. Siegel. This means that if your child has allergies and then gets new symptoms that dont respond to allergy medications, its important to check with your pediatrician.
Anyone who has any illness symptoms must make sure to quarantine at home to avoid spreading the germs.
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Does My Child Have Allergies Or A Cold
With the weather changing this time of year, kids may have a multitude of cold-like symptoms. Both allergies and a cold can cause a runny nose and sneezing, so how can you tell what is causing your childs symptoms? Lets take a look at other common symptoms to help you differentiate:
- If your child has a fever, it is most likely a cold because allergies do not cause an elevated temperature.
- A sore throat is more common with a cold.
- A cold and its symptoms usually are worse during the first three to four days, but it usually runs its course in one to two weeks.
- If your child has itching of the eyes, nose or skin, it is most likely allergies. A cold does not cause itching.
- Allergies usually cause symptoms that last for longer than two weeks.
- Allergy symptoms come in a predictable pattern. For example, if symptoms show up every spring or every summer, this typically indicates your child has allergies.
If you suspect your child has allergies, knowing what some of the common allergens are can help you identify what might be causing your childs symptoms. Indoor allergens include:
- Animals, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, gerbils, guinea pigs and others
- Clothing and toys, particularly ones made or trimmed with animal hair and
- Latex or bacterial enzymes in items such as rubber gloves and balloons, elastics in clothes and cleaning products.
Outdoor allergens include:
Symptoms Of Pollen Allergies
Everyones immune system is different and allergies to pollens can cause diverse signs and symptoms. This means that diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. If you think you may have an allergy, keeping a record of your symptoms can help you and your doctor to understand what is causing your symptoms.
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Can Allergies Cause Fatigue & A Low Grade Fever
Whether it is spring or fall, if you suffer from allergies, you run the risk of becoming sick. For some sufferers, allergies cause nasal congestion, headache and cough 1. For others, if their bodies react strongly enough, their symptoms may include a low-grade fever and fatigue. It is important to know how to treat your symptoms so you begin feeling healthy again.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Schedule A Telehealth Visit
Most BCHP pediatricians are now seeing patients remotely using telehealth visits to assess symptoms. In some cases, your child may need to go get a flu or strep test to rule out these other illnesses. COVID-19 tests are still limited, so your pediatrician will advise you on whether your child needs testing. BCHP physicians can also prescribe allergy medications remotely.
Learn more about our telehealth visits.
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What Causes Hay Fever In Children
You can blame it on pesky pollen. Your childs immune system mistakes the harmless particles for dangerous intruders and fights back. Cells in their airways release histamine, which makes the lining of the nose swell up. The runny nose we talked about is part of the bodys defenses too the extra mucus is meant to flush out the pollen. These hay fever symptoms are called allergic rhinitis.
Grasses, trees and weeds release pollen as part of their reproductive cycle. Typically the fine powdery dust is only in the air from early spring, through summer, into fall. Although precise pollen seasons depend on where you live.
A Hallmark Of Allergies Is Itchiness
Allergies typically cause very itchy eyes, itchy nose, maybe even itchy skin.
An infection may be irritating as well, but its going to probably be a secondary sort of concern that kids might have, Dr. Kim says.
In other words, with allergies, one of the most common symptoms is itchiness, while in infections such as RSV, itchiness in the eyes and nose can occur but other symptoms such as congestion and cough are most noticeable. For example, with an infection a young child may occasionally rub his or her eyes and nose, but the cough and congestion will be much more problematic. Whereas a child with allergies will constantly be rubbing his or her eyes and nose and sniffling.
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Could My Childs Cold Actually Be Winter Allergies
Does it seem like your child gets bad colds every winter? If it lasts longer than a month, theres a good chance the sneezing and sniffling arent from a cold at all. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner explains how to tell the difference between seasonal colds and winter allergies.
Allergies, on the other hand, tend to last through the entire season and don’t ever seem to get better. The allergy will usually start at the onset of a season while a cold could begin at any other time.
Other ways to tell them apart would be that your child’s cold may start with a sore throat, fever or body aches. And recurrent colds that don’t have a fever could be allergies. Itchy eyes or an itchy nose or both would also be hints that your child has an allergy, especially if they keep using their hands to swipe their nose upward. That’s called the allergic salute. And if they do it long enough, they’ll actually develop a little crease on the bridge of their nose. Your child will also have thin, stringy mucous rather than liquid, drippy mucous.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Eye Allergies In Kids
If your child has never experienced eye allergies before, talk with their pediatrician about their symptoms. Eye allergies are diagnosed based on your child’s symptoms. Allergy tests are rarely needed.
After eye allergies are diagnosed, your child’s doctor will recommend management. Follow-up care will only be necessary if the treatment is not working.
In most cases, eye allergies are treated using over-the-counter drugs and lifestyle adjustments to limit exposure to allergens.
For severe allergies, your child’s doctor might recommend prescription medications or an allergy shot.
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How To Recognize The Signs Of An Allergy Attack
If you hear someone has a runny nose, sore throat, and itchy eyes, what condition would you assume they have? Viruses such as influenza and COVID-19, as well as an allergic reaction often have similar symptoms however, their treatment is very different. Keep reading to learn how to spot the signs of each condition, so your child receives the care they need.
What Causes The Sneezing And Wheezing
You can be allergic to many things. Common allergens include:
- dust mites
- a protein found in the dander , saliva , urine , or other things from some animals
- grass, flower, and tree pollen
- mold and mildew
- foods, such as milk, wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, seafood, and legumes , which include peas, beans, and peanuts
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What’s Coming Out Of Their Nose
The kind of stuff clogging up your childâs nose is another possible clue.
If itâs clear and watery, itâs more likely to be allergies. If itâs green and thick, think infection or virus.
You can try to un-stuff their nasal passages with a saltwater or saline solution. If you have an infant, use a suction bulb. You could also try an over-the-counter nasal steroid, like fluticasone or triamcinolone acetonide , for older children, McMorris says.
The Persistence Of The Symptoms
The common cold usually doesnt last longer than two weeks in healthy toddlers with a good immune system. However, allergies persist as long theres an allergen present. For example, nasal congestion from pollen, dust, or mites can cause issues year-round.
When ignored, allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis can lead to inflammation in the throat, ear, or sinuses.
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Do Allergies Run In Your Family
If either parent has allergies, thereâs a higher chance your child will, too. The odds go up even more if both of you do.
âItâs very much a genetic condition,â McMorris says.
Likewise, if both of you have asthma, your children are also likely to get it. About 25% to 30% of children with one parent who has asthma will have the disease.
Many people who have asthma also have allergies. Doctors call this âallergic asthma.â They can share triggers, such as pollen, pet dander, and mold spores.
Listening To The Symptoms
Right now many people are anxious and concerned with COVID-19 being so widespread, Dr. Siegel says. But I tell parents that while the symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 can be similar, there are some concrete ways to tell which one their child is experiencing so they will know how to treat it.
Here are several differences that can be important clues:
- An illness like COVID-19 causes a system-wide response, while an allergy, which is an overreaction of the immune system in response to exposure to a trigger, is usually more localized. For instance, a child with a flu or COVID-19 may have a fever, body aches, chills, a sore throat, weakness, and respiratory symptoms. Someone with allergies will be more likely to have the symptoms centered on the nose, eyes, and throat, and they usually wont have a fever.
- Allergies cause itchiness: itchy eyes, itchy nose and sneezing, and a tickle in the throat, she says. Itchiness is usually not a symptom of illness.
- COVID-19 doesnt seem to cause much in the way of nasal symptoms, Dr. Siegel says. That means if your child is sneezing a lot, its more likely allergies, a cold, the flu, or another illness that isnt related to COVID-19.
- Children with allergies may also have asthma, which can cause wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. While many people with COVID-19 also have a cough and chest tightness or difficulty breathing, most of the time this isnt accompanied by wheezing, Dr. Siegel says.
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Allergies Follow A Pattern And Symptoms Tend To Stick Around Longer
If you have allergies, your symptoms will flare up at certain times throughout the year when the allergens youre sensitive to are present. For example, if you have a tree pollen allergy, your symptoms will first appear in the early spring.
This also means that your symptoms can last for several weeks until that particular allergy season has ended. To put that into perspective, colds usually only last about a week.
Cold viruses are present all year, so you can catch one at any time. However, the winter cold season is when getting sick is more likely.
Herbal Medicines And Allergies
Asteraceae is a family of flowering plants, including many common species, and some are used in herbal medicines. Pollen from plants in this family is a common cause of hay fever, asthma and dermatitis.Plants from the Asteraceae family include:
- plants grown for their flowers chrysanthemums, dahlias, sunflowers, marigolds, safflower and daisies
- edible foliage plants lettuce, safflower, chicory and artichoke
- weeds ragweed, mugwort, sagebrush, wormwood, feverfew
- plants used in some herbal medicines echinacea, dandelion, chamomile, feverfew, milk thistle and wormwood.
Echinacea can cause severe allergic reaction , asthma attacks, severe hives and swelling in some people, and this can occur when the first dose of echinacea is taken.Pollen from plants in the Asteraceae family can also cause an allergic skin reaction on contact. The pollen can be found in herbal medicines, shampoos, cosmetics and massage oils, and includes pollen from plants such as the:
Sensitisation to pollen of plants from the Asteraceae family has also been linked with allergic reactions to other substances that are similar. This is known as cross-reactivity and has caused allergic reactions to:
- plant-derived herbal medicines echinacea, royal jelly, bee pollen extracts and chamomile
- foods celery, honey, sunflower seeds, carrot, lettuce, watermelon and nuts.
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How Long Have The Symptoms Lasted
Colds tend to go away in 2 weeks or less. Allergies stick around longer. âItâs not going to be 3 days and youâre done,â McMorris says.
Nasal allergies can hang around for much of the year, especially in the plant-growing months, if youâre allergic to some kind of pollen.
Fever And Teething Issues
According to a prospective study conducted by the Departments of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, mild fever has been statistically associated with teething. They also concluded that high fever of above 102 degrees Fahrenheit was not attributable to teething. These findings are a result of studying 475 tooth eruptions in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents that any fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should be investigated to rule out any bacterial source of infection.
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When Do Seasonal Allergies Develop In Babies
Its uncommon for babies to have seasonal allergies in the first year. That said, its possible for allergy symptoms to begin at any age.
Kids tend to develop seasonal allergies between the ages of 3 and 5, with most young allergy sufferers noticing symptoms by the time theyre 10. Some kids develop allergies as young as 1 or 2 years old, although usually theyre reacting to indoor allergens like dust, mold or pet dander.
Can Allergies Cause A Fever
Experts say you might want to think twice before blaming your child’s low-grade fever on allergies. Here’s what parents need to know.
Allergy sufferers experience a wide range of symptoms, ranging from itchy eyes and runny nose to sore throat and congestion. The symptoms can occur throughout the year or seasonally, depending on the cause of your allergies, and they can negatively affect day-to-day activities, says Sanjeev Jain, M.D., a board-certified allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy. But whether your child is allergic to pet dander or pollen, you may wonder if they can have a low-grade fever with allergies. Heres what parents need to know.
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Allergy Symptoms In Babies And Toddlers
A child with allergies may have any or all of the following symptoms:
- Dark under-eye circles
- Irritability, restlessness or excessive fatigue
She may also complain about:
- An itchy, runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes, skin, throat or roof of the mouth
- Trouble sleeping
- Shortness of breath or tightness in the chest
- Itchy ear canals
If the same symptoms occur around the same time every spring, summer or fall, it may be a sign that your childs body is reacting to outdoor allergens. If you or your partner have a family history of allergies, theres a good chance your little one is predisposed to those seasonal sneezes and sniffles, too.
Symptoms Of Nasal Allergies
- Clear nasal discharge with sneezing, sniffing, and itching of nose
- Eye allergies also can occur
- Ear and sinus congestion or fullness can occur
- Throat can also feel scratchy or have a tickly feeling at times
- Itchy ear canals, itchy skin or hoarse voice sometimes also occur
- Symptoms happen during pollen season
- Same symptoms during the same month of the last year
- Past diagnosis by a doctor is helpful
- No fever
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Nose And Eye Allergies: Age Of Onset
- Seasonal pollen allergies usually begin at age 2 to 5 years.
- The symptoms peak in school age children, teens and young adults.
- Pollen symptoms are rare in children under age 2. They require at least 2 seasons of exposure to the pollen.
- Children under age 2 who have chronic nasal symptoms have other causes. Examples are recurrent colds, large adenoids or cows milk allergy.
- Food allergies can start during the first year of life, but not pollen allergies.
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Common Allergy Triggers In Children
- Outdoors: tree pollen, plant pollen, insect bites or stings
- Indoors: pet or animal hair or fur, dust mites, mold
- Irritants: cigarette smoke, perfume, car exhaust
- Foods: peanuts, eggs, milk and milk products
If you suspect your child has an allergy, make an appointment to see an allergist. Start a diary before the appointment and keep track of what symptoms your child experiences and what you think causes them.
It’s changed his life drastically. Now he’s just very vibrant and outgoing. He’s healthier and he can do things that he couldn’t do.
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