Q: My Daughter is 7-months old and got a runny nose the same time I did. We haven't been around anyone who is sick, but it is the beginning of spring. Could this be seasonal allergies? How can I treat them if they are (my daughter hates when I wipe her nose)?

A: If I were betting in Vegas, I would put my money on both of you having a viral respiratory infection. Babies under two years of age, rarely, if ever, manifest symptoms of seasonal allergies. Babies may have eczema, food allergies, or indoor environmental allergies, but as allergists will say, "you have to have lived through the season, then be re-exposed to the season" to mount an allergic response to seasonal pollens.

It is also very difficult to pinpoint exactly who gave you a viral infection--germs are everywhere, although it feels better not thinking about that as we go through life's daily routines. There are germs that can survive for several hours on countertops, cell phones, door knobs, shopping carts, ATM machines, gas pumps, etc. So it is quite possible you came in contact with some anonymous person's germs, contracted the illness, and spread it to your little one. It's ok, that is just life.

So, what to do about the runny nose? Run a humidifier in her room, use saline nose drops liberally to flush the secretions, and give her lots of TLC!

If she runs a fever, seems fussy, has labored breathing, or begins having disrupted sleep, it is time to check in with her doctor.

Answered by Dr. Ari Brown



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