How to Know If It's Allergies, a Cold, The Flu or COVID-19?

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Playing Allergies, Cold or COVID: How Parents Can Spot the Differences

As we live through the coronavirus pandemic, things like a sneeze, a cough, or the sniffles are more concerning than ever and The Doctors welcome pediatrician and parenting expert Dr. Jen Trachtenberg to help identify if your child is dealing with allergies, a cold, the flu or possibly COVID-19.

More: Tips on Creating a Safe Pandemic Pod for Learning and Socializing

Dr. Jen notes just how difficult it can be for parents to decipher the difference between these ailments and says these are the things to look for:

Allergies: If your child is having symptoms reoccur year after year during the same few months, it could be a sign of seasonal allergies, which might involve itchy watery red eyes, wheezing, hives, and rashes.

The common cold: If your child has a cold, the pediatrician says they could experience issues like congestion, fever, headaches, sneezing, and they usually last 4 to 6 days and may happen anywhere from 6 to 9 times a year.

Flu: She says the flu can often seem like a cold, but will also include body aches, fever, and the child might say they are feeling much worse compared to having a cold.

COVID-19: Dr. Jen says parents should be aware that COVID symptoms may mimic the common cold and then also possibly include more severe issues like respiratory distress, vomiting, and diarrhea.  

More: 10 Favorite Face Masks for Fall

"It can be really confusing," she says of parents trying to figure out if their child is sick with a cold or something worse. "Definitely speak to your pediatrician about whether [your child] should be seen or not."

She stresses that any child experiencing any type of cold or flue symptoms should be kept home until they are feeling well and fever-free for at least 24 hours. 

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