Hay fever or cold should be something you can identify and help your child get the help they need. Below, you will learn about the differences between hay fever and cold. You will also learn about their symptoms to ensure that your child stays healthy.
Hay Fever Overview
Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis. Unfortunately, it causes cold-like symptoms like sinus pressure, sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. However, hay fever isn’t caused by a virus, unlike a cold. Instead, hay fever is mainly caused due to allergic responses to indoor or outdoor allergens. These allergens include:
• Tiny flecks of skin
• Dust mites
• Saliva shed by dogs, cats, or any other pets with feathers or fur
• Pet dander
Furthermore, besides making your child miserable, hay fever can affect their performance in school. However, you don’t need to just deal with these symptoms – there are ways to circumvent the triggers and identify the ideal treatment, thus saving your child from the condition in the first place.
Symptoms of Hay Fever in Children
Hay fever mostly develops after the age of three and is very common in children. A severe hay fever infection can lead to long-term health conditions like chronic ear infections, sinusitis, or asthma. Furthermore, some studies use genetics to highlight whether your kid will develop hay fever or not.
Young kids might have a harder time dealing with hay fever because it affects their concentration and sleeping patterns. However, one symptom that can help you differentiate between hay fever and cold is a fever. Because despite its name, hay fever does not produce a fever. Instead, the most common symptoms include:
• Nasal congestion and runny nose
• Postnatal drip
• Allergic shiners
• Itchy nose, throat, or roof of the mouth
• Allergic conjunctivitis
Your child might experience hay fever symptoms that worsen during particular seasons. One common trigger for hay fever in kids is tree and grass pollen. The pollen is prevalent mostly during the spring and summer. On the other hand, you might notice an effect of ragweed pollen during the fall.
Dander and dust mites are bothersome all year round; however, the symptoms might worsen during the winter when the house is closed up. Spores from outdoor and indoor fungi are perennial and seasonal. Eliminating these allergens is the best way to ensuring your child won’t have hay fever.
Hay Fever vs. Common Cold
Even though hay fever might mimic some common cold symptoms, it’s easy to differentiate between the two. With hay fever, your child will have a runny nose with watery and thin discharge. However, there will be no fever symptoms which are typical with the common cold. Furthermore, a common cold will have a thick yellow discharge, fever, and body aches.
The onset of hay fever is immediately after allergen exposure. However, common cold onset takes between one to three days after exposure to the virus. The duration of hay fever is also typically longer because you need to eliminate all the allergens. The duration of a cold is normally between three and seven days.
Hay Fever Treatment
You need to limit exposure to hay fever allergens, applicable for both kids and adults. If hay fever isn’t severe in adults, you can purchase over-the-counter medicine to help relieve the symptoms. However, if your experience worse symptoms, you might require prescription drugs.
Do not try the same with a child. You should talk with your doctor about the best treatment options, as not all over-the-counter medications are suitable for kids.