KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sneezing and itchy, water eyes signal the arrival of fall for many in East Tennessee. Some children suffer allergies year-round. During the fall ragweed is the major offender according to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

With COVID-19 on many parents’ minds, some are wondering how to tell the difference between allergies and COVID? Dr. Lise Christensen with ETCH says that if the child has symptoms around the same time each year, if there is a family history of allergies, and if the symptoms are not accompanied by fever, it’s likely allergies.

She adds that if one or both parents suffer from seasonal allergies, a child is more likely to have them too. By contrast, COVID symptoms can include loss of taste or smell, dry cough, shortness of breath, and body aches.

Signs/Symptoms of allergies

  • Red, teary, itchy eyes or swollen eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Throat clearing
  • Nose rubbing

Do allergies cause asthma?

No, but these two conditions are related. Children with allergies are more likely to have asthma than those who don’t. Children with asthma can have worse symptoms during seasons when flowers and trees are releasing pollen.

Tips to help kids suffering from allergies or asthma

  • Avoid triggers when possible.
  • Wash clothes and give children a bath after they come in from playing outdoors.
  • See your pediatrician for recommendations on safe allergy or asthma medications that are the right dosage for your child and will provide them the most relief.