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Learn About Kids’ Allergies

Allergy symptoms are no fun. Below is some information to help you understand if your child’s symptoms may be due to allergies.

Want to Talk to Your Pediatrician? Here are some questions to ask.

Children’s Allergies 101

    What are allergies?
    Outdoor seasonal allergies versus indoor year-round allergies
    What are allergy symptoms?
    What is a cold?

Colds vs Allergies

It can be difficult to tell the difference between an allergy and a cold, even for a doctor. Why? Because many of the symptoms can be similar.

These Symptoms Can Appear in Both Colds and Allergies
(although not all symptoms may appear)
Symptoms Allergies Cold
Symptoms occur all at once or within a few hours
Coughing
Sneezing
Runny Nose
Headache

Symptoms for allergies can vary and can be more prevalent in the spring and fall for seasonal allergies sufferers.

These Symptoms Are More Typical of a Cold*
Symptoms Allergies Cold
Mucus from coughing or sneezing is typically thick, yellow or green
Symptoms are accompanied by fever
Symptoms can be more severe in the spring or fall
Muscle aches

*Colds can cause different symptoms and sometimes, the symptoms may be more severe. If you think you may have a cold, talk to your doctor.

Yellow or green mucus discharge could indicate an infection requiring medical attention.

Next Steps

If you think your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms described above, you may want to talk to your doctor to see if your child has a cold or allergies.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you want to talk to your doctor about your child’s allergies, here are some questions you might want to ask.

Viewpediatrician prep questions

The Smart Allergy MomTM Toolkit Symptom Tracker

One way of helping your doctor understand what may be causing your child’s allergies is to keep track of his or her symptoms.

DownloadSymptom Tracker (PDF)

What is an ALLERGEN?

An allergen is defined as a benign substance that your body perceives as foreign and harmful. It initiates the allergic reaction in your child.

See more at the Smart Allergy Mom™ Toolkit Glossary

Test Your Allergy Smarts

Take this fun pop quiz now.

If a child has allergies, he or she will exhibit symptoms when they are exposed to which of the following?

Pollen Pet dander Dust mites Depends on the individual

Not exactly.
Pollen, pet dander and dust mites are all different types of allergens, but they may or may not cause symptoms in your child. Your child will react to different allergens depending on what he or she is allergic to.

Correct!
Pollen, pet dander, and dust mites are all different types of allergens, but each may or may not cause symptoms in your child. Your child will react to different allergens depending on what he or she is allergic to.

The only symptom a child with allergies will exhibit is sneezing.

True False

Not exactly.
When your child’s body tries to get rid of the “allergen” (foreign substance), he or she can experience many types of symptoms, including sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and a runny, stuffy nose.

Correct!
When your child’s body tries to get rid of the “allergen” (foreign substance), he or she can experience many types of symptoms, including sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and a runny, stuffy nose.

Circles under the eyes can be a symptom of allergies.

True False

Correct!
Sneezing or itchy eyes can be a telltale sign that your child has allergies. But some kids get dark circles under the eyes, which can also be caused by nasal congestion and are sometimes referred to as allergic shiners.

Not quite!
Sneezing or itchy eyes can be a telltale sign that your child has allergies. But some kids get dark circles under the eyes, which can also be caused by nasal congestion and are sometimes referred to as allergic shiners.

What is an allergic salute?

Children frequently wiping their noses by rubbing their noses upward. When your child waves at you with a tissue.

Correct!
When your child rubs a stuffy or runny nose upwards with the heel of his or her hand, it’s called an allergic salute. It can last more than 2 weeks and lead to an "allergic crease" or line at the bridge of their poor little noses.

Not quite!
When your child rubs a stuffy or runny nose upwards with the heel of his or her hand, it’s called an allergic salute. It can last more than 2 weeks and lead to an "allergic crease" or line at the bridge of their poor little noses.

Which of the following does NOT release pollen?

Mold Weeds Grass

Correct!
While both pollen and mold can float through the air, they are different allergens. Pollen comes from trees, grasses, or weeds. Molds, on the other hand, are parasitic, microscopic fungi that live in damp areas.

Not quite.
Pollen is a fine, powdery substance released into the air by plants, including weeds and grass.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You get an A+
in Allergy Smarts

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Smart tips from the Claritin® Mom Crew*

“Teaching children to recognize allergy symptoms at an age-appropriate level helps empower them to know their own body and understand what causes the symptoms. Education reduces fears children have when their body seems to just take over for them.”

—Wendy Wright, Mom of 2 from Arizona

*Moms received product samples and promotional items.

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Smart tips from the Claritin® Mom Crew*

“Teaching children to recognize allergy symptoms at an age-appropriate level helps empower them to know their own body and understand what causes the symptoms. Education reduces fears children have when their body seems to just take over for them.”

—Wendy Wright, Mom of 2 from Arizona

*Moms received product samples and promotional items.