Flowers are blooming everywhere and the air is filled with pollen, which means it’s allergy season. But this allergy season is a little different, because it’s overlapping with a pandemic. So how can you tell if your child’s sneezes and sniffles are from allergies or from the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Typically, allergies are associated with what we call itchy symptoms: itchy eyes, itchy nose and sneezing. Those symptoms are usually relieved with routine allergy medicines.

Symptoms of COVID-19, on the other hand, also include those typical allergy symptoms, but they are accompanied by fever, cough, shortness of breath and lots of body aches. These symptoms tend to be a lot more severe and would warrant and immediate call to your health care provider.

When it comes to determining if your child has been exposed to COVID-19, you’ll want to look at your family risk factors. Have you been out in a public area where you could have possibly been exposed to someone with COVID-19? You’ll also want to take into account your child’s behavior. Most parents are pretty familiar with what normal behavior and activity for their child is. If you child is acting sick or off, even if they don’t have all the symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider and let them help you figure out what’s going on.

Get more tips from Dr. Bellard on this episode of Pandemic Parenting, a Facebook Live event featuring NBC’s Barbara Harrison.


Alsan Bellard Alsan Bellard Jr., M.D., is the medical director of the Children's Health Center at THEARC.

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