Have you noticed that your child seems to be a bit under the weather with the recent season change? Maybe he has been coughing or sneezing more or rubbing her nose or eyes. Once again, you find yourself asking, “Is this a cold, or allergies?” and wondering what you can do to make your little one feel better.
While colds and allergies often mimic each other, there are differences in the intensity and frequency of the symptoms. Most importantly, a cold doesn’t last over 14 days, so if by day 15 your child is still suffering, he or she may have allergies. (If you’d like to see a side-by-side comparison of allergies and a cold, WebMD has provided this chart with general guidelines.)
When it comes to children’s allergies, the allergens are the same culprits as those that trigger adult reactions:
So really it’s not the specific allergens that are different for the different age groups, but different conditions in which the sufferers are exposed. Let’s take a look.
- Outside. Of course adults will spend some time out in nature during fall, but kids are likely to spent a lot more time out there playing amongst the mold and the pollen. There aren’t too many kids that will be able to resist a great big pile of leaves, which unfortunately are a breeding ground for allergy triggers.
- School. Children spend a large chunk of their lives at school. And while school staff puts in as much effort as possible to keep the building free of dust, mold, and other irritants, sometimes it’s just hard to get it all. This is because with all of the school’s nooks and crannies and the amount of children running around stirring things up, there is only so much anyone can do to keep the building allergy-free.
- Hygiene: Children tend to touch everything, and that’s okay because it’s a part of their innate curiosity and development. Some kids, especially toddlers, will then put their hands — and the objects themselves — into their mouths, unintentionally ingesting mold spores and pollen. The best way to keep little hands as allergen-free as possible is to routinely wash them and use hand sanitizer whenever possible. Frequent baths or showers will help too, especially after a long day of play outside. If only kids loved to wash up as much as we’d like them to.
The question remains: With fall allergies surrounded your child, how can you keep him or her happy and healthy? Well, you can go the medication route with antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays and allergy shots. Or you can make an appointment with our subsidiary office Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat and see what we can do to help.
After our expert physicians perform thorough diagnostic procedures to figure out exactly what your child is allergic to, we will come up with an individualized treatment plan that will help your child leave fall allergies behind. If that plan includes removing tonsils or adenoids, inserting tubes in the ears, or fixing a deviated septum, our patient-centered manner of care will put both you and your child completely at ease.
Don’t let your child suffer from fall allergies any longer. Call (203) 574-5997 for an appointment at one of Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat’s three conveniently-located offices today.