Does Your Child Have Hay Fever or Just a Cold?


As you will read, the symptoms for hay fever and a cold are very similar. Plus, there are times when you remove all forms of allergy-inducing material, and yet your symptoms linger. On other occasions, you treat a cold, and suddenly the symptoms return with a vengeance because an allergy is also involved. It is a particularly tricky state of affairs when dealing with children and hay fever.



Symptoms of a Common Cold
Let us consider the symptoms of a cold before trying to figure out if your child has hay fever or not. Remember that a cold can strike at any time of year and is sometimes due to a child having a lack of sleep, or possibly a poor diet, which leads to a slightly weakened immune system. Common symptoms include:
Slight body aches

Mild headache

Runny or stuffy nose

Congestion

Malaise (Generally feeling unwell)

Sore throat

Sneezing

Cough

Low-grade fever

Symptoms of Hay Fever
Do your best to get rid of all allergens in your home in order to help your child's hay fever. Try to think as to where the allergens came from, such as if you dried your bedsheets outside. Also, remember that even if you have removed all allergens, the material can still get stuck in your child's sinuses. Then all you can do is administer some hay fever medication and wait it out until the problem stops. Typical hay fever symptoms include:

Runny nose
Cough

Nasal congestion

Watery, itchy, and red eyes

Sneezing

Fatigue

Itchy nose and roof of mouth or throat

Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes

Postnasal drip


It is not Just Pollen


There is pollen kicking around during the winter months, but there's also an excess of dust mites, which causes allergy problems in some people. There is especially lots of mold, including black mold, during the winter. For example, if you notice your child seems to get worse during heavy rainfall, then the problem may be an allergy to mold.


When and How Symptoms Pass
Most people think that a shower or bath will fix an allergy, but even if you remove the cause of the allergy, your body is still reacting. It is like when you burn yourself on the stove. The pain is over, but the swelling, oozing, and peeling goes on for long afterward.
A cold can pass between 3 to 7 days, whereas an allergy can be far less predictable. You can suffer for weeks with an allergy, or it can disappear when you go into one house and return with a vengeance when you go into another. You can be literally sat at one table in a park and experience the worst symptoms, and then walk down to the river and your symptoms pass.


It is Sometimes Both
It's sad to watch children suffer with hay fever symptoms, but try to remember that the problem could be an allergy and a cold. During winter and early spring, it is most likely a cold. However, even during those times of the year, it could be both. There is still a smattering of pollen kicking around the atmosphere, and the cold weather can easily bring on a cold. Do what you can to remove allergens, but sometimes it is best to treat the problem as if your child has both hay fever and a cold.


Conclusion - Think "Cold First" and Then "Allergy"
As a hay fever sufferer, you always assume that every sneeze, runny nose, and blocked sinus is due to your allergy, but there are many times when it is not. You start taking medication for your hay fever when what you really need is some good food and lots of sleep. The trouble is that when your child has sniffles, you automatically assume it is an allergy and make all the same mistakes you would if you were the sufferer. Trying to fix an allergy when it is actually a cold can make the situation worse, so it's normally best to treat both.

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