It’s easy to mistake baby seasonal allergies for the common cold, but they require different types of treatments to bring relief. Here’s how to tell the difference to get the right treatment for your child.
You probably haven’t heard of many cases of baby hay fever because it’s unusual for children under the age of two to develop seasonal allergies. In most cases, young children have not been exposed to allergens long enough to trigger a reaction. Also, 2011 research published in the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology indicates that the likelihood of your child developing allergies is further diminished if you breastfeed.
Although its uncommon, research indicates that seasonal allergies have a genetic component. So, if you or your partner have allergies, it’s more likely that your child will.
- Be on the lookout for most allergies to develop after the age of three.
- You can also take proactive methods, like reducing allergens in the home, to diminish the chance that your child will have seasonal allergies.
The difference between a cold and allergies
- Runny noses and coughing are two common symptoms of both colds and allergies. However, there are a few ways to find out what is causing these symptoms.
- First, check the nasal discharge. If your baby has an allergy, you can expect clear watery fluid. If the discharge is yellow or green, it indicates an infection or cold.
- Second, fevers are common with colds and not allergies.
- Finally, a cold should resolve within 10 days. If symptoms are still present after this period, it’s time to make an appointment with a doctor.
- Allergies may also trigger watery eyes and itchy ears. These problems are less common in children who have colds.
- Allergies often improve when the child is kept indoors, while cold symptoms remain constant.
Seasonal allergy treatments
Before administering any medication, it’s important to consult your paediatrician.
- Nasal washes and oral antihistamines are common treatment options.
- Parents.com notes that some prescription antihistamines can be safely prescribed for children as young as six months.
- Allergy testing can also be conducted on children as young as two months old, but usually allergy shots won’t be administered until your child is at least five years old.
Even though it’s uncommon, you should always take your child to the paediatrician if you suspect seasonal allergies. Uncontrolled seasonal allergies can trigger problems like asthma and chronic ear infections.
Once you spot the symptoms of seasonal allergies in your child, a paediatrician will be able to suggest the right treatment for your kid.