The following are common situations that parents often feel are due to allergies, but may be due to other non-serious causes:
- “Doctor, my child had a bad cold with fevers 4 weeks ago, and STILL has a stuffy nose and a cough at night” – this is a very common occurrence after a bad cold. Kids can have leftover nasal symptoms and cough for 3 or 4 weeks after a cold. This is why we suggest waiting to see if symptoms persist for 2-3 months before you consider allergies.
- “Doctor, my child has dark circles under her eyes. Could she have allergies?” If there are no associated nasal symptoms, then dark circles alone are not due to allergies. Some children simply have dark circles under their eyes as part of their complexion.
- “Doctor, my child is having unusual temper tantrums and is waking up many times a night. I’m afraid he might have allergies” – Often times parents are quick to blame any unusual or unwanted behavior on allergies. While it is true that sensitivity to sugar or artificial additives in foods can contribute to unusual behavior, this isn’t actually an allergy.
- “Doctor, my usually healthy child has had a runny nose and cough all winter long. Could this be allergies?” During cold and flu season it can often seem like our children are sick all winter long. Often times, however, if we look back, our kids do have several weeks of health in between illnesses. Frequent “colds” during the winter season are more likely to be caused by germs rather than allergies.
- “Doctor, my child has had 6 ear infections this year. Could this be due to allergies?” We know that nasal allergies can contribute to recurrent ear infections, but nasal symptoms are usually also present in this situation. If your child does not have chronic nasal congestion or runny nose, then the ear infections are probably not due to nasal allergies.