Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Allergies, Cold or COVID: How Parents Can Spot the Differences

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With flu season fast approaching, parents everywhere

are in a panic, wondering how they can spot the differences

between fall allergy, the common cold, the flu,

and of course COVID-19.

Well, Dr. Jen is gonna break it all down for us

to let us know what the differences are

and what we should look for.

Hey, Dr. Jen, thanks for joining us,

And Dr. Ian how are you?

Hey, great, so we have a lot to tackle here, okay?

First things first.

Can parents spot the difference between all these

childhood illnesses or is it just the lost cause?

Well, it is really confusing 'cause there is a lot of

overlap, but we are gonna talk about some differences

to help parents.

Okay, so let's start with one many children as well as

adults suffer from fall allergies.

You say the first sign could be

what time of the year we're in?

Well, exactly.

So fall time, think about your child, year after year.

They keep getting the same symptoms the same time of year.

It's a good feeling that it may actually be allergies

and not an illness.

And some of the physical symptoms would be?

So one of the hallmarks is really itchiness that kids get

so if they get itchy, watery red eyes, their noses itchy,

watery, makes them sneeze a lot.

But they also can get other symptoms too,

wheezing for example,

but also skin rashes, flare ups of eczema,

as well too hives.

So it can sort of run the gamut of many different symptoms.

When you look at the symptoms of allergies

and then compare them to the symptoms of the common cold.

What's the differentiation between the two?

Colds usually don't last as long,

more like four to seven days,

but also they have like very stuffy nose, watery nose.

Kids actually may even get fever with colds,

which they don't get with allergies.

Lots of sneezing as well too,

so there's definitely some overlap.

Headaches is also part of colds too.

And of course, this is the time of year

that colds are gonna happen.

Very common with kids, right?

We should expect to see lots of colds.

Oh yeah, so kids get on average six to nine colds a year.

So if you think about that, it's like almost every month

that they're in school, right?

They're getting sick or have a cold.

So, yeah, it's quite often and often parents think,

Oh my goodness, their child's getting sick

more than other kids, but it's really often, heading

all the other illnesses that they get too.

Okay and then we look at the flu right?

So flu has its set of symptoms, of course, some overlap.

How do you interpret the difference if your kid has a flu,

or has just a common cold?

So usually if flu, they're really feeling a lot worse.

They often have fever and they have really bad body aches,

kids are often telling me that their legs hurt,

and they come to my office, either parents are carrying them

in or they're laying down on my exam table.

They don't wanna get up.

It's sort of a telltale sign, they really don't feel well.

Yeah, so the flu actually kind of knocks them out,

you know, a lot more than typical cold

which can have a stuffy nose, or runny nose.

But we also now talk about COVID-19.

You throw that in the mix,

which is gonna make it more complicated.

What specific symptoms should parents be looking out

for when it comes to COVID?

So COVID you know, it's really really difficult

not just for parents, but for obvious as a physician.

pediatricians as well too, because it really runs the gamut.

So it could be just mild symptoms like a cold and runny nose

to much more severe respiratory distress,

and even vomiting and diarrhea.

So it can be really confusing and if your child is sick

and really not feeling well, definitely speak to your

pediatrician and see if they want to be seen or not.

Yeah, so let's say your kid comes down, you know,

with a runny nose and is sneezing.

Should you wait a certain period of time before you say,

"Hey, I need to escalate this because it could be

something more severe or you know."

What exactly should a parent do in that situation?

Yeah, I think it is, there is a wait watchful period.

If your child is just acting like they have a cold

and have a runny nose, certainly you should keep them home.

If they have any type of symptoms, 'cause you don't want

them to transmit it to anyone else.

But obviously, we're in the middle of this pandemic now.

And we want to contain it as much as possible.

So any symptoms cough, runny nose, anything,

keep them home until they're feeling well

and they're fever free for at least 24 hours.

That's right, because we're all in this together.

Dr. Jen, these are awesome tips.

Thank you so much as always for joining us.

Great, thanks for having me.

All right, and for more information for all these specific

symptoms, just go to our website.


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