Kawatu_Allergies vs Cold_Large

Is it Allergies or a Cold?

Author: CHKD Medical Group
Published Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017

By Dr. Rita Kawatu, Coastal Pediatrics

Spring is in full bloom, which could mean more sniffling and sneezing around your house. Up to 40 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis – commonly known as hay fever – are allergies that occur at certain times of the year, usually when trees, grasses and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air. Mold is another trigger.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies can sometimes mimic those of the common cold, but there are differences. The common cold can last for more than a few days, and nasal secretions are thicker and may be discolored. Fever is also never associated with allergies.

Signs your child may have seasonal allergies:

  • Itchy throat or eyes
  • Rashes in the creases of the skin, wrists and ankles
  • Symptoms last for weeks or longer
  • In addition to taking any allergy medicine your doctor recommends, you may also ease seasonal allergies with the following tips.

Prevent Pollen from Entering Your Home and Car

  • Keep windows closed during the spring and summer months and the air conditioning on.
  • Leave shoes in the garage or a mudroom so pollen isn’t tracked onto your carpet.
  • Use HEPA-rated air filters in your air conditioner so that any pollen that finds its way in gets trapped in your vents and not your child’s nose.

Stop the Spread of Mold

  • Prevent mold from growing in your house by placing dehumidifiers in rooms with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms or closets.
  • Clean out gutters and get rid of any piles of leaves, grass or plant trimmings that can provide a damp environment for mold.
  • Keep your shower and sinks spotless by cleaning them on a regular basis with bleach.

See your CHKD pediatrician for help controlling your child's allergy symptoms.

About CHKD Medical Group

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.