This beautiful season comes with a lot of possible allergens. Especially for our babies experiencing their first winter to spring season change have a lot of extra sniffles and sneezes. This makes a lot of mommies worry about “is it allergies or is it a cold?”

How to know the difference between a cold and allergies

• A cold is an infection caused by a virus.
• Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a substance like pollen or pet dander.
• Both can give you sniffles and stuffiness. So how to do you tell the difference?

You are probably experiencing allergies if

• Mucus is clear and/or watery and will stay clear, not like a cold when it will become thick and discoloured.
• Your eyes are itchy.
• Symptoms stay the same, allergies feel extra intense in the first 2 days but symptoms will then stay the same.
• You have had sniffles for more than a week. Colds lasts 7-10 days only, allergies can last several weeks.
• Symptoms show up only in certain situations like spring or autumn, specific places like a house where there is a cat.  Colds and flu occur in late autumn and in winter.

It’s probably a cold if

• You have a cough, fever, headache and mild body aches. There are hundreds of cold viruses and different viruses causes different symptoms.  Allergies are not associated with coughs, fever and body aches.  The exception to the rule is that allergies can trigger a cough due to a postnasal drip if you have asthma.
• Your symptoms change. Every few days, will start with a fever, then a stuffy nose, then a sore throat, then coughing and sinus pain.
• Mucus will become yellow or green and thick.

Baby feeling unwell due to common Cold

When to see your doctor

• If you think you have allergies, talk to your doctor about treatment options or getting tested to try and avoid specific allergens.
• See your doctor right away if you struggle to breath, have severe skin rash or swelling of your mouth and tongue. This could indicate signs of a severe allergic reaction.
• If you have a fever of more than 38.3C then it could have developed into flu.
• Cold symptoms get worse over time or don’t clear up in 7-10 days.
• Treatment includes lots of rest and fluids.