Is It Allergies or a Cold?

January 29, 2022

Since colds and allergies have similar symptoms, it is not uncommon for a parent to be unsure of whether their child has allergies or a cold. If you’re wondering whether your child’s symptoms reveal allergies or a cold, ask yourself the following questions to pinpoint the cause of your child’s discomfort.

1.      How quickly did your child’s symptoms arise?

How quickly your child seems to develop symptoms can signal whether they’re dealing with allergies or a cold. Symptoms of a cold typically appear one at a time and slowly develop over a period of a few days. Allergy symptoms, however, usually strike all at once when children come into contact with an allergen.

2.      How long has your child had symptoms?

It takes colds seven to 10 days to run their course. If your child has allergies, their symptoms will likely last for weeks or even months. As long as they are exposed to the allergen, their symptoms will persist.

3.      What is the color and texture of your child’s mucus?

Children with allergies or a cold often experience a runny nose and sneezing. By taking a close look at the color and texture of your child’s mucus, you can figure out their condition. If your child has a cold, they will have thick mucus that is yellow or green in color. Mucus from allergies tends to be clear and thin.

4.      Does your child have aches and pains?

In many cases, colds lead to slight aches and pains. If your child is coping with allergies, they probably won’t experience any aches or pains.

5.      Does your child have a fever?

Allergies don’t usually lead to a fever while one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of a cold is a fever.

6.      Does your child have itchy or watery eyes?

Itchy or watery eyes can signal whether your child is suffering from allergies or a cold. These are not common symptoms of the cold but are usually seen in children with allergies.

7.      What is the time of year?

Another way to determine whether it’s allergies or a cold is to consider the time of year. Children catch colds more often in the winter months. Indoor allergies may occur year-round and outdoor seasonal allergies are more widely seen in the spring and fall when there are high pollen counts.

You should take your child to the pediatrician if you believe they may have allergies, your child is having issues breathing, has a skin rash or fever over 101 degrees, or their cold symptoms worsen after ten days.

Schedule an Appointment at Holly Springs Pediatrics

If you’re still unsure of whether your child is struggling with a cold or allergies, schedule an appointment at our office today. We’ll perform a thorough evaluation of your child and let you know how to proceed.