Telling the difference between a cold and allergies can be tricky. With this overview, you’ll be better equipped to help your little one feel better faster.

They call it “the common cold” for a reason, and allergies don’t discriminate by age. But it can be difficult to tell whether your ailing little love is sneezing due to pet dander or if they are coming down with the crud that’s going around. Understanding which cold and allergy symptoms overlap and which do not is the first step to helping your little one feel better faster.

Allergy symptoms in babies & toddlers

Let’s explore the symptoms of the kinds of childhood allergies your little one can experience: food allergies and environmental allergies (seasonal and perennial).

Food allergy aymptoms may include:

  • Rash or hives
  • Skin redness and/or warmth
  • Swelling of the face, lips, and/or tongue
  • Itching without rash or hives
  • Shortness of breath and/or wheezing
  • Chest or throat tightness
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and pulse weakness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Environmental allergy symptoms may include:

  • Itchy and/or watery and/or red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing and/or wheezing.

Cold symptoms in babies & toddlers

The reason it can be difficult to tell the difference between allergies and a cold is, of course, because there is a lot of symptom overlap. Cold symptoms in babies and toddlers include:

  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Trouble sleeping

How to manage allergies in babies and toddlers

The primary way to manage allergies in anyone is to reduce exposure to the allergen. This can be simpler with food allergies than seasonal or environmental allergies. Airborne allergens may mean staying indoors, air filtration, and more thorough cleaning.

Formula-fed infants and toddlers with cow’s milk allergy may benefit from being fed Nutramigen A+ with LGG. Consult your healthcare provider to discuss allergy management options—including using Nutramigen A+ with LGG—and for a recommendation for a good pediatric allergist

How to treat colds in babies and toddlers

There is no cure for the common cold—we can only treat the symptoms. Treating your little one for a cold is all about making them as comfy as possible:

  • Encourage fluids to stay hydrated
  • Use a humidifier to keep the air moist
  • Applying saline nasal drops will help with nasal congestion

Many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines aren’t appropriate for your little ones, so it’s best to avoid them. Instead, if your child is experiencing fever or pain with their cold, consider the use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen (consult your healthcare provider prior to giving). And remember: Antibiotics do not work on viruses, so they won’t help speed up the resolution of your little love’s cold

Talk to your healthcare provider about what symptom management approaches are right for your little one, whether you’re dealing with allergies, a cold, or both. Before making adjustments to your baby or toddler’s diet, including using Nutramigen A+ with LGG, consult with your healthcare provider.