Cold Vs. Allergies: Identifying Your Child’s Symptoms For The Best Treatment

How To Know If Your Toddler Have Allergies Or a Cold?

It won’t be long until the back-to-school bugs begin making their rounds. Classrooms and pediatrician clinics will see plenty of children struggling with annoying symptoms such as sore throats, runny noses, and goopy eyes. And as fall approaches, many parents will find themselves wondering whether their child’s symptoms are the result of a cold or seasonal allergies.

Even for pediatricians, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a cold or allergies. Often, time is the best way to bring clarity. Here are some signs to discuss with your East Mesa pediatric doctor to help you find an answer and the resulting relief for your child’s symptoms.

How To Know If Your Toddler Have Allergies Or a Cold In East Mesa, AZ.

Signs That Your Child May Have a Cold:

  1. She has a gradual progression of symptoms including most of the following: sore throat, low grade fever, congestion, cough, runny nose – usually occurring in that order.
  2. Your child’s mucus changes color over just a few days and may also shift from congestion to a runny nose. It’s common for the mucus from a cold to range from clear to yellow or even green. These colors do not necessarily indicate a sinus infection; many colds just include unsightly nasal discharge. Contact your child’s pediatrician if yellow or green mucus persists after a few days.
  3. His symptoms are majorly improved within 5-7 days of onset. Colds are normally completely gone by day 14 after the onset of symptoms.
  4. People your child comes in contact with, such as friends at school, classmates, or siblings at home have similar symptoms.
  5. Symptoms start right your child begins school or joins a new daycare. Colds are more likely to happen in fall or winter.

If you think your child has a cold that needs medical attention, or if you are having trouble distinguishing whether your child has a cold or allergies, schedule an appointment with your East Mesa family clinic.

Signs That Your Child May Have Allergies:

  1. She feels very itchy. Itching is considered to be the hallmark of allergies and can include itchy nose, scratchy throat, and eyes that are both watery and itchy.
  2. The cold symptoms linger and just won’t go away. Allergies are suspected if your child’s symptoms are cold-like and last more than two weeks without tremendous improvement.
  3. Allergies can happen any time of the year, but are most common in spring, summer, and early fall.
  4. In addition to cold-like symptoms, he has dark circles or lines underneath his eyes that make it look as though he’s very tired or got into a fist fight. These are called allergic shiners and are another classic symptom of allergies.
  5. Another classic symptom of allergies is the “allergic salute” which refers to a horizontal crease across the bridge of the nose – the result of a child repeatedly wiping upward on his nose in an attempt to relieve nasal itchiness and to wipe away dripping mucus.
  6. Your child may drive you crazy with constant throat clearing due to post nasal drip, or may snort repeatedly trying to hold mucus inside her nose. Your child may also sneeze very frequently.
  7. Allergy symptoms usually appear very suddenly and won’t leave until the child is removed from the allergen.

It takes 2-3 seasons of exposure for an average healthy child to become sensitized to a specific allergen. So if you have a toddler, consider a cold first unless there are specific symptoms leading your East Mesa family doctor to suspect allergies. It’s rare for a toddler to develop seasonal allergies in the first three years of his life.

Pediatric Doctor Suggestions To Cold & Allergy Symptoms

You can always schedule an appointment with your East Mesa primary care doctor for personalized treatment, but here are some reminders and suggestions to help ease minor symptoms at home:

  • Never give over the counter cough or cold medications to children under four years of age.
  • To ease coughs and congestion and support your child’s body through a cold, try a cool mist humidifier, plenty of clear fluids, saline nose drops, a nose sucker such as a Nose Frida, and a little bit of honey for children over age 1.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor about possible allergy symptoms so you can get the best anti-histamines, nasal sprays, or eye drops to help relieve your child’s symptoms.

Top Rated Family Practice Doctor In East Mesa

East Mesa Family Doctors is your convenient one-stop practice for every member of your family! Our experienced doctors are able to work with any age, from children and teens to adults and the elderly. We offer in house pharmacy services, physical therapy, lab services, and x-ray. Same day and telemedicine appointments are available! Contact us today to schedule your family’s visits.


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East Mesa Family Doctors
8035 E. Brown Road, Building 4, #101
Mesa, AZ 85207

Phone: (480) 750-0085
Email: [email protected]