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Cold or Allergy?

How do you know if you child has an allergy, or a cold?!
Susan Hendricks checks in with a pediatrician to help us distinguish between the two and better care for our children.

Children spend a lot of time sniffling and sneezing this time of year, making it hard for parents to figure out if it's a cold or an allergy. 

Dr. Jennifer Shu: Runny noses and sneezing are common to both colds and allergies 
But there are some distinct differences between the two conditions. 

Dr. Shu: Allergies can also have itching.  Itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose, itchy throat and those tend to be hallmarks of allergic reactions. 

You don't see much itching with colds.
But colds have a few symptoms that set them apart from allergies; and one of those is fever.  Children with a cold may develop an elevated  temperature, but that is not the case with allergies.  Youngsters often complain about a sore throat with a cold, something less common with allergies. 

Also colds tend to run their course within a week or 2 weeks whereas allergies can last much longer.   
Dr. Shu:If you have a child who has symptoms typically every fall or every spring lasting for more than a couple of weeks.  That's probably an allergy. 

And if your child's symptoms have you concerned, as always check with your pediatrician. 
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