How can I tell if my child has allergies?
Children sometimes cannot (or do not) tell you about their allergy symptoms. However, you may notice some signs that could mean your child has allergies.
For instance, does your child
Often have a runny, itchy, or stuffy nose?
Have dark circles under the eyes?
Often breathe through his or her mouth?
Push up on his or her nose (especially younger children)?
Have recurrent ear problems?
A stuffy, itchy, runny nose and sneezing are common symptoms of indoor and outdoor allergies, also called indoor and outdoor allergic rhinitis (rye-NITE-iss) or hay fever. These symptoms can affect your child’s everyday life.
Allergy symptoms can get in the way when your child is trying to
Enjoy outdoor activities, such as a spring fair, a summer picnic, or a fall hike
Join in sports
Stay alert at school
Get a good night’s sleep
A health care professional can do tests to help find out what triggers your child’s allergy symptoms. For example, your child may have a seasonal allergy—symptoms appear only when certain weeds, trees, or grasses release pollen into the air, or when leaves begin to pile up. Or your child may have a perennial (year-round) allergy triggered by pet dander, dust, or indoor mold.
Talk with your child’s health care professional to find out about allergy testing, treatment, and practical ways you can help your child avoid allergy triggers.