Avoid Exposure To Allergy Triggers
Avoid exposure to substances you know you are allergic to — a strategy known as allergen avoidance. Whether you have a cough related to seasonal allergies or allergic asthma, this is an important part of managing allergy symptoms.
Stay away from cigarette and wood smoke, which irritate the airways and may trigger bouts of coughing. Also avoid exposure to strong, irritating fumes, such as those from cleaning products, fragrances or industrial chemicals.
Avoid being outdoors when pollen and mold counts are high if you have seasonal allergies. Keep allergens out of your home by keeping windows closed. Minimizing your time outdoors when the air quality is poor and during periods of high humidity or very cold weather may also help reduce allergy-related coughing.
Clean your home thoroughly to reduce allergens in the home. Dust and vacuum regularly, and wear a mask when cleaning to prevent breathing in allergens. Using an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter may also trap allergens and keep the air in your home cleaner.
If you continue to experience persistent coughing, visit your doctor to determine whether your treatment plan requires revision.
If you experience trouble breathing, dizziness, lightheadedness or wheezing, seek immediate medical attention.
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.
How To Manage Allergies
When the flowers start blooming and little noses start running, youll need a strategy to manage your childs allergy symptoms so they dont get sent home from school on the regular.
Your childs pediatrician should always have the final say in their care plan. But Savita Ginde, MD, MPH, a family planning expert and chief healthcare officer at STRIDE Community Health Center in Denver, Colorado, says, Typically your doctor will recommend a seasonal allergy medicine combined with an allergy nasal spray to control symptoms.
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Diagnosing A Hay Fever Cough
When you have an infection, the mucus in your body starts to thicken due to the presence of a virus or bacteria. The type of mucus youre producing can help your doctor tell the difference between a hay fever cough and an infection. If you have thin mucus, as opposed to thick mucus that is difficult to cough up, allergies are usually to blame.
Your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms as well as what makes them worse or better and when you started noticing them.
How To Stop Constant Coughing From Allergies
Indoor or outdoor, seasonal or year-round, all types of allergies can potentially cause constant coughing. Along with a runny nose, sneezing and watery and itchy eyes, allergic cough can be disruptive and annoying. Coughing associated with allergies is often caused by postnasal drip, when mucus from your nose runs down the back of the throat. Allergic asthma may also cause persistent coughing 2. With this type of asthma, symptoms are triggered by exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Allergy Medicine Wont Help With Symptoms Of Rsv Or Other Viral Infections
If you think your child has allergies and give him or her allergy medicine and it has little effect on his or her symptoms within 12 to 24 hours, your child might have a viral infection.
An antihistamine that you can get over the counter should do really well for allergies but likely would have very little effect on infection, Dr. Kim says. So if you have a kid whos got a lot of those symptoms like a really bad runny nose and cough, and Zyrtec and Benadryl arent touching it, it may be because its not allergiesits an infection.
If your child has cold-like symptoms and youre not sure what it is, your childs doctor can help you figure it out. Dont send your child to school or other social settings until youre sure its just allergies.
If your child isnt feeling well, talk to your pediatrician or find one near you.
Allergies And Ear Infections
Unfortunately, allergies can also set kids up for ear infections. Here are the steps you should take if you suspect your child may have an ear infection:
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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.
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.
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Treatment And When To See A Doctor
Coughing is a natural defense mechanism the body uses to clear the airway and remove microbes and foreign objects.
People often produce dry coughs, also called nonproductive coughs, to clear an itch or irritation in the throat. These coughs are usually symptoms of an underlying condition in the upper respiratory tract.
Many things can cause dry cough in children, and its treatment depends on the cause. Taking note of other symptoms accompanying the cough can help identify its cause.
If a child feels like they are struggling to breathe, their caregiver should contact emergency services immediately.
In some cases, a caregiver can help prevent a dry cough by taking preventative measures. These may include getting the child appropriate vaccinations or avoiding exposure to allergens or irritants.
If a caregiver is not sure what is causing the cough, they may want to talk with the childs doctor to get a diagnosis.
Could My Child’s Cough Be Covid19
COVID19 is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause a wide range of symptoms, including a cough and fever. Anyone can have mild to severe illness due to COVID-19, including children. It is not possible to tell the difference between COVID-19 and a cold or upper respiratory infection without testing. Because of that, it is best to get tested for COVID-19 to rule it out. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate themselves from those who are not infected. The best way to prevent COVID-19 is for everyone who is eligible to get the COVID19 vaccine.
Your child has a fever or chills, a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, a headache, loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea. Your child should be tested for COVID19 if they are experiencing a combination of any of these symptoms, especially if they have been exposed to someone who has COVID19.
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Your Kids Cough: 5 Of The Most Common Causes Of Coughing In Kids
Having a cough yourself can be bothersome enough. When your kid gets a cough, all hell breaks loose. Being sick makes children cranky and uncomfortable. To make matters worse, they may struggle to eat and sleep when they are feeling under the weather. Here are the five most common causes of coughing in kids so that you can be informed this winter.
How Is The Cause Of Childhood Cough Diagnosed
As in most medical evaluations taking a thorough history and conducting a comprehensive physical examination generally leads to a narrow list of diagnostic possibilities. Laboratory studies, X-ray studies and specialized testing by allergists or pulmonary specialists may occasionally be necessary to establish or confirm the cause of childhood cough.
Issues to be evaluated while taking a history of childhood cough include:
- Duration and intensity of cough,
- Character of the cough ,
- Events leading up to the cough ,
- Events which affect cough ,
- Precipitating events associated with cough ,
- Progressive worsening of symptoms and development of fever ,
- Environmental influences , and
- Possible emotional component .
Testing may include:
Due to the diversity of causes of childhood cough the therapies available need to be directed to the proper causative agent.
- Routine upper respiratory infections respond best to rest, fluids, and tender loving care. Multiple studies have demonstrated no benefit for the various over-the-counter medications. Moreover, a number of studies have demonstrated potential side effects to children below six years of age due to the nature of the medications included in these formulations.
- Use of a cool mist humidifier may be very helpful for the treatment of the laryngeal swelling associated with croup. Occasionally a single dose of an anti-inflammatory medication dexamethasone is indicated.
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When Its Allergies And Illness
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, says Dr. Siegel. This means if your child has allergies and then gets new symptoms that dont respond to allergy medications, its important to check with your pediatrician.
If you have any questions about any symptoms your child is having, you should call your childs clinician. Most of our pediatricians are offering virtual visits, so you dont even have to come into the hospital.
This story was adapted from content originally published by Boston Childrens Health Physicians.
Get more answers about Boston Childrens response to COVID-19.
Can You Get Allergy Shots During Pregnancy
Allergy shots are considered safe for pregnant women, but only for those who had been on the receiving end for a while before conceiving. Most allergists say its not a good idea to start allergy shots during pregnancy, because they trigger changes in your already-fluctuating immune system and may cause unexpected reactions.
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No : Skip The Cough Medicine
Over-the-counter cough and cold medications are not recommended for children under the age of 6, according to newly revised guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. That, Dr. Cameron explains, is because they usually dont workand they are sometimes linked to serious side effects.
A lot of the over-the-counter medications have decongestants and antihistamines. Decongestants are associated with cardiac arrhythmias, and antihistamines have an increased risk of drowsiness and depression of breathing, she says. So those medications, if not dosed according to weight or given at the proper intervals, can be dangerous.
Instead, Dr. Cameron says just a teaspoon or so of honey can go a long way. “It’s amazing how well honey can soothe the irritated throat and make the cough stop,” she says. But because of a risk of botulism, this approach shouldn’t be used for kids under the age of 1, she cautions.
Dr. Cameron also suggests using a humidifier, saline drops and a bulb syringe to suction out the nose. Gargling with a little bit of water might help, too. And if there is any pain, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may also be used.
Cough Kids And When To Worry
If you look down my schedule in the winter time, the most common complaints you will see are fever and cough. I have already addressed fever, so now its time to address coughs. So many things can cause a cough. Just discussing the common causes will be a long post, but here it is!
Children get many illnesses in the winter that cause a cough. Parents often worry that the cough is a sign of something ominous. Furthermore, coughs last so long that they are often distressing to both the child and the parent, as well as the teacher, classmates, friends parentsetc. This post will breakdown the common causes of coughs, how to help your child and when you should worry.
What is a cough?
Coughing occurs when something other than air gets into the airway below the vocal cords. The upper airway starts at the back of the nose and moves down to the vocal cords. The lower airway includes the trachea, the right and left bronchus which leads to each lung, the small tubes of the lungs called bronchioles, and the air sacks. Because the airway prefers air instead of anything else , as soon as something gets into the lower airway, it is quickly expelled. Therefore, coughs can occur due to any foreign object anywhere along the airway. Coughs in children are most commonly due to post nasal drip. Mucous drains from the upper airway into the lower airway. However, some coughs originate in the lower airway and its important to differentiate.
What causes a cough?
How should you treat a cough?
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Back Up: Why Do We Cough Anyway
Coughing is a natural response to irritation in your throat or airways. To put it simply, receptors in the throat, trachea, and lungs respond and lead to activation of the cough center in the brain, explains Clifford Bassett, M.D., founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.
Coughing is an essential defense mechanism, he says, and its your bodys way of pushing any unwanted stuff out, including pollen, mucus, and pieces of food, to make more room for air to get through.
What’s The Difference Between A Cold And Allergies
When exposed to certain particles such as animal dander, pollen, trees and grasses children may have an allergic response. This occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens, triggering the release of histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream.
This response causes common allergy symptoms, including:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Fever, in some cases
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Coughing Up Mucus Decode Your Symptoms
You dont need an MD to tell you that coughing up mucus is no fun, but did you know that the color of your mucus may provide some insight into your health? While its not exactly a sure thing you shouldnt use mucus color alone as a diagnostic tool the color of your mucus can hint at whats going on in your airways, so you can determine the best treatment. Excess mucus in itself typically signals that you have some sort of infection or irritation in your respiratory tract. Mucus normally provides a protective layer to keep nasty germs along with environmental irritants, like smoke particles out of the delicate tissues lining your airways. As a result, infections and irritation may trigger more mucus production as a defensive strategy against the foreign particles.
Coughing up clear or light-colored mucus may signal that youre dealing with allergies. You might also have a minor respiratory tract infection, like a mild cold. Try Maximum Strength Mucinex® D for relief. It contains pseudoephedrine HCl and guaifenesin, which may help you clear excess mucus and nasal congestion .
Taking Mucinex® DM thins and loosens mucus and may help clear out yellow or green mucus. If youre experiencing other symptoms, such as fevers and body aches, try Maximum Strength* Mucinex® Fast-Max® Day Time Severe Cold & Night Time Cold& Flu for relief. If your symptoms lasts more than seven days or worsen, please consult a physician, you may have a bacterial infection requiring antibiotics.
What Do Children Represent In Dreams
Children often represent ones inner child in a dream and can have both positive and negative meanings. In a positive sense, they symbolise unrealised potential or need for growth. Dreaming of children might relate to a desire to return to the past to recapture good times or to satisfy unfulfilled hopes.
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How To Tell If Your Child Has Allergies Or A Cold
It can be hard to know if your childs sneezing and runny nose is due to allergies or the common cold. Look for these clues to help tell the difference.
A child with a runny nose, congestion, and coughing: Its a cold, right? Maybe not. Symptoms of respiratory allergies can look a lot like a cold, making it difficult for parents and sometimes even doctors to tell the difference.
We see kids coming in with the diagnosis of recurrent infections and sometimes what they actually have is allergies, says Nicholas Bennett, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and adjunct assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and medical director of the department of infectious diseases and immunology at Connecticut Childrens Medical Center in Hartford.
This is a common occurrence because theres an overlap between allergy symptoms and the symptoms of an infection. Distinguishing between the two is particularly hard when spring approaches because winter respiratory viruses are still circulating while trees are producing pollen, Dr. Bennett says.
But there are some signs you can look for to determine whats behind your childs symptoms. Heres what to do:
Theres a caveat, however. Itchy eyes can also be a sign of pink eye, he says. If itchy eyes are also pink or red with a discharge that forms a crust, take your child to the doctor to be checked for pink eye.