Sore throats, runny noses and goopy eyes abound now in classrooms and pediatric offices everywhere.
And now, more than ever, with fall waiting in the wings … many parents find themselves asking: Is this a cold or does my child have seasonal allergies?
Admittedly, it can be hard to tell at first. For pediatricians and parents alike. Sometimes, time is simply our best clue. But if you’re looking for quick ways to muddle through your child’s symptoms for an answer (and some relief), see these hints courtesy of OTCsafety.org.
(Disclosure: I receive compensation for my participation in the Consumer Healthcare Products Association educational foundation’s OTC Safety Ambassador program. However, the content and opinions in this post are my own.)
Your child might have a cold
Think seasonal allergies if ...
Diagnostic tip: Got a toddler? Think cold first, allergies later. Why? Because it takes two to three seasons to become sensitized to particular allergens. That’s why allergies are pretty rare in the less-than-3 set.
Help for the runny noses, congestion and coughs
Remember: No over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children under 4. There is no proven efficacy or safety.
Lots you can do: cool mist humidifier, lots (and lots) of clear fluids, normal saline nose drops (in conjunction with a great nose sucker, think NoseFrida), and a little honey (for kids older than 1 year) are great ways to support your little one through a cold.
Always talk to your child’s health-care provider, if you suspect allergies, to find the best antihistamine, nose spray and/or eye drops to relieve allergy symptoms.
And, please always remember this … safety first.