10 Ways to tell if your baby has allergies, and not just a cold

Many of the symptoms of nasal allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis) are similar to those of cold symptoms—runny nose, watery eyes, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing. Many times parents are confused on whether their child has a long-term cold or allergies.
Allergies are different though. Here are ten things to look for:

  • Is your baby sneezing a lot?
  • Does he have a dry cough, not coughing anything up?
  • Are his eyes, red, watery, and itchy?
  • Is his skin breaking out, irritated, or have an itchy red rash?
  • Is your baby’s nose always stuffy or running?
  • Does it seem like your baby always has a cold? (Colds usually wind themselves down in a week to ten days; allergies don’t.)
  • Does your baby breathe through his mouth?
  • Is your baby constantly rubbing, or touching her nose?
  • Does your baby have thin and clear mucous draining from her nose (or is it think and yellow or green?)?
  • Does it look like he or she has a black eye (“allergic shiner”) where the skin is dark or purple under her eyes.

If your baby has more than one of these symptoms, there is fairly good chance your baby is allergic to something in his or her environment. The most common culprit is dust mites, but there are many other allergies. Since common allergies are linked to ear infections and possibly asthma, it’s a good idea to discuss these symptoms with your doctor and eventually with an allergist who can easily test for more specific allergens.

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