Telling the difference between cold symptoms and allergy symptoms can be tricky — even in the winter. Katherine Rivera-Spoljaric, MD, a Washington University pulmonologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital answers three questions about the differences between cold and allergy symptoms to help keep your little one healthy.

  1. Are seasonal allergies a thing? Yes! Symptoms can occur all year long. Perennial allergies are allergies that occur year-round as opposed to seasonally and are often things found in your home. Spending more time indoors during the winter can aggravate these allergies.
  2. What are common perennial allergens? Pet dander, feathers, mold, and pests like insects and dust mites can cause allergies to flare up.
  3. Is it a cold or is it allergies? Cold symptoms can include fever, headache, exhaustion and body aches. Allergy symptoms can include sneezing, itchy eyes and eye watering or swelling. An antihistamine can help relieve allergy symptoms.

If your child’s symptoms linger or are related to a particular exposure, you should consult your pediatrician to discuss next steps of evaluation and treatment. Need help finding a pediatrician? We are here to help! Learn more about what factors to consider when choosing a pediatrician.