- The symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing, nasal discharge and excessive tearing often occurs in the morning, after waking up and at night time in allergy. In a child with colds, the manifestations occurs all throughout the day.
- A strong family history of asthma, eczema or allergy is often present in a child with allergy while this does not hold any significance in a child with the common cold.
- Conjunctival irritation and itchiness and sneezing is more manifested by a child with allergic rhinitis.
- Constitutional symptoms like fever, cough, body aches are common in kids with common colds but is not seen in a child with allergic rhinitis.
- The removal of the possible offending allergen such as dusts and avoidance of pets such as cats or dogs can alleviate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Children who have been long suffering from allergic rhinitis have the characteristic nasal crease caused by frequent rubbing of the nose even in their sleep. It is called the “allergic salute”. This is not found in a child with the common cold.
- The common cold is self limiting, it is caused by a virus so you expect the symptoms to be gone in 7 days, however, an allergy could be present all throughout the season, and occurs in specific time of the day.
- The symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be relieved by anti-allergy drugs like anti-histamines and nasal sprays while a child with a common cold does not respond to this medications.
I hope you find these points handy in figuring out whether your little one is suffering from a viral infection or an allergy. Although both of these disease are relatively benign, as a parent, it is always hear t breaking to see our child suffering from the discomfort. It is best to consult your pediatrician first before giving any medication to your child.