KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With temperatures warming up, many flowers are starting to bloom and that means spring allergies for many of us. Allergies often start in childhood and continue throughout life. Allergies can be differentiated from a cold, flu or COVID-19. Typically, allergies have similar symptoms to a cold but last more than a week or two and develop about the same time every year.

Dr. Ryan Redman from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital shares symptoms, causes and treatments for allergies.

Symptoms include runny nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, throat clearing, nose rubbing, and itchy, runny eyes. Common allergens include pollen, dust, animal dander, and certain food.

To control allergy symptoms, identify what your child is allergic to and avoid it as much as possible. Work with your child’s pediatrician or allergist to help figure out what is the root cause. Keep windows closed to keep outdoor pollen and mold from entering the home. Change clothes when a child comes indoors and wash clothing as soon as possible. Give your child a bath when they come in from playing outdoors. Use a dryer for clothing and bedding, rather than a clothesline.

Is allergy medicine safe for children? 

Yes, when used properly. Always check with your pediatrician before using over-the-counter medication and use only as directed to manage symptoms. The pediatrician may prescribe an antihistamine or a decongestant depending on your child’s specific symptoms.

Signs it could be more than allergies 

Asthma is a chronic condition that starts in the lungs. Children with asthma often feel worse during allergy season. Wheezing could indicate asthma. See your pediatrician to diagnose.