Learn how to tell the difference between common allergy symptoms and signs of COVID-19 in children

More than 6 million children in the U.S. are affected by seasonal allergies or hay fever, and allergy symptoms can spike when pollen counts are high. But how can parents tell if their child's sniffle or sore throat is pollen-related or if it could be a sign of COVID-19?

Learn more about the common symptoms of seasonal allergies and COVID-19, the differences between the two and the best ways to manage your child's allergies.

How to tell the difference between seasonal allergy and COVID-19 symptoms

While COVID-19 and seasonal allergies can cause similar symptoms, there are differences between the two conditions. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Seasonal allergies are caused by the immune system's overactive response to airborne pollens released by trees, grasses and weeds. 

Shared symptoms of allergies and COVID-19

Many symptoms of seasonal allergies overlap with COVID-19 symptoms. Both conditions can cause: 

  • Congestion
  • Runny Nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore Throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

COVID-19 can also cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. This is not a common symptom of allergies but can occur in children who have a respiratory condition like asthma that is triggered by pollen. 

How can I prevent seasonal allergy symptoms and COVID-19?