ahealthyme - Everything to live a healthier life
Menu
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Featured Tools

Related Reading

Cold vs. Allergy in Children: How to Tell the Difference

Colds are infections of the upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nasal passages, throat, and larynx). They are caused by several different viruses. They are spread by:

  • Touching a person with a cold, such as shaking hands, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

  • Touching an object that someone with a cold has touched and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

  • Breathing the virus in the air after someone with a cold has coughed or sneezed into the air

Seasonal allergies (hay fever) are caused by the immune system reacting to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds as if it were harmful to the body. Allergies aren't contagious. This means they don't spread from person to person. The reaction causes symptoms that can seem like a cold. Allergies often run in families. Seasonal allergies occur at the same time each year. If your child has allergy symptoms all year, they may be allergic to things (allergens) in the home. These can include dust mites, animals, mold, and cockroaches.

The table below is a guide to symptoms. See your child's healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment options.

Symptoms

Allergy (Airborne)

Cold

Stuffy or runny nose

Often

Often

Sneezing

Often

Often

Sore scratchy throat

Often

Often

Wheezing

Sometimes

Sometimes

Red or itchy eyes

Often

Rarely

Fever

Never

Often, especially at the start of a cold

Weakness and lack of energy (fatigue)

Sometimes

Sometimes

Body aches

No

Yes

Headache

Sometimes

Often

Cough

Sometimes

Often

Hoarseness

Sometimes

Often

Occur at a certain time of year

Often

Rarely

Need for antibiotics

No

No

Warning time

Symptoms occur after exposure to allergen

Gets worse over several days

How long it lasts

As long as your child is exposed to the allergen

Usually 3 to 14 days

Online Medical Reviewer: Deborah Pedersen MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2022
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Featured Tools

For Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts members

Follow Us
Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit GetBlueMA   or call 1-800-422-3545.