Does My Kid Have Allergies, COVID, a Cold or the Flu?
Let’s figure out how to tell if your child has a cold, the flu, allergies or COVID-19. Right now, your child’s sneezing, cough or fever may just scratch the surface as to which of the four it could be.
By Carmen Ochoa
Spring is officially here! Along with the start of spring, allergies are starting back up again as well. However, at Cook Children’s there has been an increase in flu cases at CCHCS this past month and the cold season isn’t over just yet along with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s figure out how to tell if your child has a cold, the flu, allergies or COVID-19.
Right now, your child’s sneezing, cough or fever may just scratch the surface as to which of the four it could be.
“Even though it’s spring, parents need to keep in mind some of those winter viruses are still circulating. There are a lot of respiratory viral illnesses still going around that we associate with the wintertime,” said Bianka Soria-Olmos, D.O., pediatrician at Cook Children’s Haslet Office said. “In Texas, the weather is not full on spring, it is still cold outside some days.”
Allergies are caused by pollen and the environment.
“Allergies usually do not have any of the symptoms that viruses usually cause fever, body aches, or overall general ill feeling,” Dr. Soria-Olmos said. “Most kids with allergies are going about their normal day other than the nuance of symptoms. The overlapping makes things confusing.”
Cold, Flu or COVID?
Symptoms of the common cold, the flu and COVID are very similar. The main way to tell the difference is through testing.
Each of these is a virus that affects the body and can affect the way kids act. A fever is the most common symptom to monitor between the cold, flu and COVID-19.
Cold and flu typically come with additional symptoms such as a decrease in appetite, fatigue, chills, etc. Sometimes you can have a cold without fever. Flu typically causes an increase in temperature.
Parents of children under the age of 2, should contact their pediatrician if the fever continues for more than 48 to 72 hours. This is to help determine if the doctor should see the child and or if a parent can continue supportive care at home.
Although we have seen fewer COVID-19 cases in the community, it is still something to think about as a cause of fever, cough and nasal congestion or sore throat.
“Testing is the main way to help us determine between different causes of similar symptoms,” Dr. Soria-Olmos said.
Dr. Soria-Olmos encourages parents to speak with their pediatrician on how to treat their child and identify the cause of their symptoms.
About Cook Children's
Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization is comprised of nine companies, including our Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., Child Study Center and Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet the unique needs of their child. For 100 years, we’ve worked to improve the health of children from across our primary service area of Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. We combine the art of caring with leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child. This has earned Cook Children’s a strong, far-reaching reputation with patients traveling from around the country and the globe to receive life-saving pediatric care. For more information, visit cookchildrens.org.