Can You Spot an Allergy?

Your child's runny nose and sore throat could be due to a cold virus or a seasonal allergy. Here's help telling the two apart.
  Cold Allergy
Cause A virus. Reaction to pollen from trees, grass, weeds, and ragweed; mold; and dust mites.
How Long It lasts About 7 Days. Symptoms persist or recur every few days; may be worse during the spring and fall.
Symptoms Mild fever; clear, thin, watery nasal mucus that thickens as child improves; slight cough or occasional clearing of throat; sore throat. No fever, clear, thin nasal mucus; frequent sneezing; itchy, watery eyes and nose; wet cough that worsens with activity.
Treatment Rest and plenty of fluids; acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve sore throat or headache. Go easy on cold remedies- some can cause side effects, and they won't cure a cold any faster. Antihistamines to ease symptoms. Take your child to the doctor, who can help identify allergenic substances and offer guidelines on avoiding them.


Source: James Kemp, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Diego and president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.


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