It can be difficult for a parent to identify a seasonal allergy in their child. This is because the symptoms of an allergy can be much the same as a common cold. This is confusing for the parents who may well wonder what it is that their child has.
Signs of a seasonal allergy
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents can look out for some of these signs of a seasonal allergy in their child:
If a child already has a skin condition like eczema he or she is more likely to have seasonal allergies or hay fever.
Common symptoms of a seasonal allergyinclude a runny nose, sneezing etc.
Also look out for symptoms such as watery eyes, reddening of the eyes (sometime also called allergic conjunctivitis).
There is also a tingling or tickling feeling in the nose and the throat that could keep irritating the child.
Certain types of skin rashes, particularly a red, scaly rash in the region of the wrists and/or ankles could also be the sign of seasonal allergies.
Many children also have coughing, and this can sometimes progress to asthma like symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath.
How to differentiate between common cold and seasonal allergy
One of the main points of difference between a cold and a seasonal allergy is that colds are self-limiting and will disappear in a few days. However an allergy will seem to continue for weeks and will continue to trouble the child for a far longer duration.
Also unlike a cold, hay fever is usually triggered by certain seasons. Some allergies are triggered during late spring or early because of the increased levels of certain pollen. Others are triggered during the autumn months.
The allergic symptoms tend to last so long as the allergens (pollen, dust, mites, mold, fungus) are of a high level which is why they are seasonal.
The timing of the allergic reactions can differ as per the weather and vegetation of the place where you live. So if your child seems to have the sniffles during a particular season each year, it more likely that it is an allergy.
Seasonal allergies can start early in childhood, but very often children may show the first symptoms of the allergy at about age 10. Often these symptoms peak around the age of 20 and then may taper off of their own accord.