It can be hard sometimes to tell whether your child is experiencing allergies or just a simple, everyday cold. The symptoms of both can be similar, but there are a few key differences that will determine what type of treatment needs to be offered. Here’s a look at how to tell which is which.

Observe Closely

If the mucus your child is producing is clear instead of cloudy and discolored, then an allergy is probably to blame. Coughing is another indicator. While it can mean a cold or an allergy, the type of cough will give you a clue. If the cough is dry, that’s probably an allergy. If the cough sounds wet like your child is trying to expel phlegm, that more than likely means it’s a cold.

The eyes of your child will give you yet more clues. If they’re itchy and watery, then he or she probably has an allergy. If the eyes look fine, then your child probably has a cold. The presence or absence of a fever is a major indicator. A fever is never due to an allergy.

Other Ways You Can Tell

There are other clues that will let you know whether your child is dealing with a cold or an allergy. Here are just a few.

  • The child’s age –

    If your child is younger than 1, it’s very unlikely that an allergy is occurring. Allergies usually don’t start until a child starts going to school.

  • Symptoms –

    Cold symptoms usually dissipate after a couple of weeks. Allergy symptoms, on the other hand, can last for weeks or months.

  • Medical history –

    Does your family have a history of allergies? Then there’s a good chance that’s what’s going on with your child.

Come into Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest Houston and let one of our doctors determine whether your child is dealing with an allergy or a cold. Then we can come up with a plan to get your child back to normal as fast as possible. Use or convenient online form or give us a call at (936) 539-8190 (The Woodlands/Conroe) or (281) 655-1500 (Houston) to schedule an appointment.