Tis’ the season for allergies or is it a cold? Or the flu? Or worse… COVID-19? Although COVID-19 complications are rare in children, proper diagnosis is vital to ensure their health is monitored and to help stop the spread of the virus. It’s important to know what symptoms your child has to determine whether or not it is allergies or something else. Here are the differences between allergies, a cold, the flu and COVID-19.
Each illness is different, but their symptoms can be similar. Coughing, sneezing and a running nose are common with allergies, a cold and the flu, but rare with COVID-19. Though, a fever is common with COVID-19 and the flu. Here is a breakdown of the symptoms:
- COVID-19: Fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath, sometimes tiredness, aches and pains, headaches and sore throat.
- Influenza (Flu): Fever, a dry cough, fatigue, aches and pains, sometimes a runny nose or congestion, sore throat and sometimes in children, diarrhea.
- Cold: Runny or stuffy nose, mild cough, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat, aches and pains, sometimes fatigue, and headaches, but these can be rare.
- Allergies: You can experience an itchy nose, eyes, throat, sinuses and ear canals. Sometimes, depending on the severity of your allergies, you can feel fatigue and have headaches, usually above your eyes and near the sinus canals. Other common side effects are coughing, sneezing, congestion, and watery eyes.
Allergies and Illnesses Can Co-exist
Now that you know the common symptoms for each illness, children can still become sick while managing their seasonal allergies. Be sure to clean your child’s nose thoroughly as germs can still linger after a good wipe. If you are noticing new symptoms that aren’t being contained by allergy medication, they may have another illness that doesn’t react to it. However, your child’s allergies could worsen into a sinus infection, which can be cured by antibiotics.
Managing Allergies at Home
Here are some ways to reduce allergens if your child suffers from seasonal allergies.
- To prevent pollen from getting in your child’s eyes, have them wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Have your child change into different clothes after playing outside and wash them to remove the allergens.
- To lessen allergens being tracked throughout the house, have your family take off shoes at the door.
- Lastly, as soon as your child comes in from playing outside, wash their hands and face.
If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms previously mentioned, especially COVID-19, or if you have any questions, contact us. We’re here to help provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan so your child can begin feeling better soon.