What to look for
If you are wondering whether your child has just another common cold or if he might have nasal allergies, look for the following signs:
- Ongoing symptoms that last longer than seven to 10 days, the length of the average cold
- Baby's nose is constantly running. The mucus is clear and thin versus green or yellowish and thick
- Baby's eyes are watery, red or itchy and the skin under the eyes is blue or purple
- Baby breathes through her mouth
- Her skin is red, irritated, itchy or rash-y
- Baby sneezes a lot or has a constant dry cough
- Baby is prone to ear infections, sinus infections and suffers from asthma.
If your child has even just one (or more) of these symptoms, your little one may suffer from allergies caused by something in his environment.
Discovering what your child is allergic to
The next step if you think your child has allergies is to try to figure out the source, of course! Since your baby probably spends most of his time at home, you'll want to there.
If you have an animal, don't get rid of it just yet! Even sending it away will do your baby no good as cat dander takes more than a year to degrade to the point where it will not affect those allergic to it. However, it is a good idea to take note of your baby's symptoms when you spend a few days away from the house and your pet -- on vacation, for example. If your little one's allergy symptoms improve while away, you may want to have him tested for pet allergies.
Talk to your baby's pediatrician about your allergy concerns and ask about having him tested with an allergy specialist. The pediatrician can likely do a blood test to determine allergies but an allergy specialist can do more specific skin testing to determine exactly which allergies are affecting baby.