Is It A Cold Or Allergies?

po3n1iisgg236wiYou just heard it: that first sneeze. Your child is in the other room watching Sesame Street and sneezes again. As you run into the room with a handful of tissues, ready to assess the situation, you’re wondering if the dreaded cold virus has finally made a visit this cold and flu season to your home.

As parents, we often hear through social media, 6 o’clock news and the parking lot for after-school pick-up if there are certain viruses “going around”. If your son or daughter’s best friend misses a day or two from school for a fever and sore throat, chances are your child may become victim to the same germs. But what if your child seems to have sniffles that last and last? What if they seem generally tired and can’t seem to shake a cough or complain that their “eyes are itchy?” If you notice cold symptoms that occur during the same time each year, lingering longer than the average cold, your child may have allergies.

Symptoms for a cold virus and allergies can overlap in similarities. That’s why it’s often best to visit your child’s pediatrician, especially if you are noticing a pattern regarding when your child’s symptoms occur. If your child tends to get “colds” quickly and at the same time every year, it’s more likely he/she is suffering from seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, where we live, seasonal allergies can affect people of all ages…including little ones.

Colds and allergies can have different treatments; so diagnosing the symptoms will ensure your child will feel better, faster. If your child has a cold virus, rest, pain relievers and even over-the-counter remedies such as Vapor Rubs and decongestants can help. It’s best to consult your child’s pediatrician for recommended medications that are based on your child’s age and weight. Running humidifiers in bedrooms at night can really alleviate their congestion and discomfort, aiding in a restful night’s sleep. A cold virus can generally last anywhere from a few days to two weeks.

Antihistamines and nasal sprays as well as decongestants can help children suffering from allergies. A proper diagnosis can assist you with either an over-the-counter remedy or a prescription one, depending on the severity of the allergy. Children suffering from allergies generally don’t have fevers or body aches often associated with the cold virus or flu. However, they may complain of being tired, having a stuffy/runny nose and cough due to itching in their throat. Itchy eyes are also a sign of allergies. Allergy symptoms can last several weeks, indicating that your child may have allergies instead of the common cold.

If your child does have allergies, there are additional tests that can be scheduled to figure out what allergen may be causing the reaction and also diagnostic tests to determine the severity of the allergy. The Association of Childcare Physicians are here to help you determine the best route to take if you have an allergy sufferer. Dr. Kellow and Dr. Shaw are happy to discuss your concerns and figure out the best solution for your child.

Cold viruses and allergies happen, but our office is here to help you diagnose and properly treat your son or daughter so they are back to being “happy and healthy” in no time! Did you know we also offer “Meet and Greet” appointments? If you or someone you know is looking for a new pediatric physician, give us a call. Our number is 618-235-2111 and you can also learn more about our team at