Skip to navigation menu Skip to content


Sick little girl blowing her nose

Is it Allergies or a Cold?

By Dr. Jung Park, PDC 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 generally doesn’t last for more than a few days, and nasal secretions are thicker and may be discolored. Fever may accompany a cold but is not 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 lasting for weeks or longer.

In addition to taking an allergy medicine your doctor recommends, you may 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 filters in your air conditioner so any pollen that finds its way inside your home 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.

Like this post?

Sign up to receive our once monthly email with more kids' health tips from the region's most trusted name in pediatric health care.

About CHKD Medical Group

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.