Can Allergies Be Causing Your Baby’s Sniffles?

You look at your infant’s runny nose and watery eyes and think, “Oh, no! She has more than my eyes and my smile: she has seasonal allergies just like me!” Well… not so fast.

Even though pollen counts are high, and the breezy spring days have you sneezing, it’s unlikely your infant is suffering from seasonal allergies. According to physicians, allergies develop only after cumulative exposure to allergens. Your infant would need to have significant exposure to something like tree pollen, grass or ragweed to trigger a seasonal allergy, and most infants simply don’t spend that much time outdoors in their first year of life to make that happen.

While you can probably rule out seasonal allergies as the culprit for your little one’s symptoms, you can’t rule out allergies altogether. In fact, the CDC reports that allergic reactions to food and indoor elements are on the rise in children. Things like mold, dust and pets can trigger symptoms, including red eyes, sneezing and sniffles… just like you see with seasonal allergies.

And you’re right to wonder about your baby inheriting your allergic tendencies: when parents have allergies, there is increased risk their baby will develop them, too. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if one parent has allergies, there’s a 25% chance that a child will also be allergic. The risk is more than doubled – to 60% to 70% – if both parents have allergies.

The important thing to remember is that if symptoms persistent, talk with your pediatrician. There are plenty of prevention and treatment options to help minimize discomfort.

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