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School Nurse Update: Seasonal Allergies

COVID and seasonal allergies cause many of the same signs and symptoms. Since it can be hard to distinguish allergy symptoms from potential COVID symptoms, it’s important to try to stay ahead of seasonal allergies.

 

Parents should always talk to their child's doctor before giving them any medication, but there are a variety of options to safely treat children's allergies.

 

Traditional allergy medications like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) often cause drowsiness.  However, newer over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications like Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec do not have as many sedating side effects and could be given in the morning before school to prevent allergy symptoms throughout the day. Claritin (loratadine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine) are available as a syrup and chewable tablet and can be given to kids over age 2. Speak with your child’s provider or your local pharmacy to see what medication may be appropriate for your child.

 

Symptom check: Is it COVID-19 or seasonal allergies?*

Symptom or sign

COVID-19

Allergy

Cough

Usually (dry)

Sometimes

Tiredness

Usually

Sometimes

Sneezing

Rarely

Usually

Runny or stuffy nose

Usually

Usually

New loss of taste or smell 

Usually (early — often without a runny or stuffy nose) 

Sometimes 

 

*From https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/covid-19-cold-flu-and-allergies-differences/art-20503981