Although there are many similarities between coronavirus and other common childhood illnesses such as the cold or the flu, there are also differences. COVID-19 can especially mimic the symptoms of allergies in kids. So how do you know if your child has COVID-19 or is simply suffering from common springtime allergies? We’ve compiled a quick guide to help you determine the difference — at least until your child can get to a doctor.
It is important to keep in mind that kids tend to have milder COVID-19 symptoms than adults and teens. In fact, many children who test positive for coronavirus may be asymptomatic, meaning they do not experience any symptoms at all. That said, the most common COVID-19 symptoms in kids include:
- Slight fever
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste/smell
Please note that kids with mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 can still potentially spread the virus to others, so if a COVID-19 infection is suspected, please keep your child in isolation until the recommended quarantine period has passed.
Similarly, signs of allergies in kids also tend to be mild and may go away with allergy treatment.
- Sinus pressure
- Runny nose
- Irritated nose
- Itchy/watery eyes
- Irritated throat
- Post-nasal drip
- Swollen undereye area
- Discolored undereye area
- Loss of taste/smell
Difference Between Spring Allergies and Coronavirus
As you can see, coronavirus and spring allergies (hay fever) share some common symptoms, like a cough, a runny nose, and a sore throat. However, COVID-19 may present with additional signs such as gastrointestinal symptoms and body aches, while kids suffering from allergies are more likely to experience irritation in the nose, throat, and eyes, including puffy eyes and red noses. In addition, fevers stemming from allergies are quite rare, so the presence of a fever is more likely to indicate an active coronavirus infection than a simple daily battle with allergies.
Diagnosis and Treatment of COVID-19 in Kids
In the event that your child is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, follow current CDC guidelines regarding quarantining and testing. When in doubt, encourage social distancing and mask-wearing until you are certain that your child has tested negative. The most accurate way to know if your child has COVID-19 is to administer a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test.
Most cases of COVID-19 in children can be treated at home, while monitoring for any potential complications such as dehydration or pneumonia. If your child is experiencing severe symptoms such as high fever, extreme lethargy, confusion, and trouble breathing, please visit your local hospital in Arvada or call 911 immediately, especially if your child is considered high-risk.
If you suspect your child may have COVID-19 or you want to discuss symptoms of allergies in kids, give us a call today to speak with a board-certified pediatrician or schedule testing.