Spring Allergies – When is a Cold Just a Cold?

Mar 24, 2021 | Seasonal

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Through the seasons your child may experience symptoms that are often common in many illnesses. Whether that be a seasonal allergy or a cold, it is sometimes hard to determine which one it could be. As a parent, it is important to recognize the signs to effectively help your child start feeling better. In this article you will learn what an allergy is, the difference in symptoms between an allergy or a cold and when it is time to see your pediatrician. 

What is an Allergy? 

An allergy is a chronic condition where your child has an abnormal reaction to something that should be harmless. Seasonal allergies are when there is a sensitivity to certain things outside—typically pollen. The pollen is what most likely causes your child’s immune system to have a nasal reaction. 

Cold vs. Allergy Symptoms 

During this transitional time from winter to spring, it is important to recognize the difference in symptoms between an allergy or a cold. Some symptoms overlap between an allergy and a cold, but here are a few differentiators to look for: 

Allergy symptoms: 

  • Itchy/watery eyes 
  • Runny nose 
  • Sneezing
  • Lasts longer than two weeks 

Cold Symptoms: 

  • Sore throat 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Body aches 
  • Lasts two weeks or less 

“Pollen allergy season lasts a long time in South Louisiana—from early Spring through late Fall. Environmental allergy symptoms tend to last longer and be more itchy than colds, and allergies shouldn’t cause fever. If you think your child has environmental allergies, we would be happy to see them in the allergy clinic at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health!”

Dr. Kathryn Neupert , Pediatric Allergist and Immunologist

When to See Your Pediatrician?

If you suspect your child has an allergy, your pediatrician can best give you options in relieving symptoms. Your pediatrician may recommend your child see an allergist, as an allergy can only be determined by having at least one symptom and a positive test. 

If cold symptoms worsen after a few days, contact your pediatrician to rule out more severe illnesses.

Click here to find a pediatrician with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health.

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