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ITV American Academy of Pediatrics Discovery Health Channel

TV Show Excerpt - Colds vs. Allergies

The following excerpt is from the original transcript of the Kids Healthworks television series, episode 101.

It is estimated that allergies account for the loss of two million school days per year. The list of potential allergens is long: ranging from foods to dust mites, and pollen to animal dander.


Kevin, I didn't know he had an allergy to cats. Well, he was allergic to the cat. I mean, really allergic: his eyes would get very bloodshot, like, sneeze about 12 times in a row, but he liked the cat. I guess with Martin, Martin had a chronic runny nose. I mean, he wasn't always sick, but he always had a runny nose.

Airborne allergies can cause stuffy or runny noses, sneezing attacks, earaches and headaches from congestion, eye sensitivity, and difficulty breathing. If your child has cold-like symptoms lasting longer than a week or two or develops a cold at the same time every year, consult your pediatrician.

Here's some fun facts about family pets. Did you know cats and dogs have allergies too? Just like us, they can be allergic to pollen, dust mites, food ... even flea bites! But unlike us, cats and dogs don't get runny noses. They do scratch a lot though! Ten million people celebrate their dogs' birthdays. Want to know how? Two million get a new toy. One million get a brand new bone. But more popular than a bone? Ice cream! More than one million dogs get ice cream on their birthdays. And that's a Fun Fact, and I'm Dylan Lerner.


Allergies are a very important predisposing event for otitis media and other respiratory conditions in children, including asthma. The child who has the same symptoms of a cold on a periodic basis - that is seasonal - one should suspect that this may be an allergy rather than a respiratory viral infection. If the symptoms are also associated either with itching - such as they get red eyes and it itches - this is much more likely an allergic response to something in the environment than a viral infection.

Some kids are allergic to medications like antibiotics. Two-and-a-half year old Sierra developed a rash after being given penicillin.


She started getting these red welts all over her torso. And I really didn't know what it was, so I ran back to the doctor and sure enough she was allergic to the penicillin. It was a really scary thing.

Nurse: Take a real deep breath in. Blow! Harder, harder! Keep blowing! Keep blowing! Force it out! Blow, blow, blow! Don't stop! Don't stop! Don't stop! Very good.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes airways to tighten and narrow. Nearly four million kids in the U.S. have asthma. It's the number one reason for kids chronically missing school. Common triggers for asthma attacks are exercise, allergies, viral infections, weather changes and smoke. These kids are at risk during flu and cold season.


With asthma, again, we tend to see it coming into the emergency room quite a bit during the wintertime, because when children get one of these viruses in conjunction with having asthma, they're more likely to begin wheezing, and have an asthma attack and one severe enough that they end up in the emergency department.

If you suspect your child has asthma or allergies, contact your pediatrician. And keep a list of all symptoms, when they appear, and what may have triggered them.

If you've flown, chances are you've experienced some discomfort in your ears during takeoff and landing, especially if you've had a cold. How does this affect a child and what can you do to help?

This brings us to our Kids Healthworks Q & A. Does air travel make a cold worse? Tammy and Da

Q: True or False. Elementary school girls are generally full of confidence and self-worth, but many experience a deep decline in their self-esteem as they enter their adolescence.

A: True. Girls suffer a marked decline in self-esteem during their adolescence. In fact, by the time girls enter high school, less than one third of them report being happy with the way they are. Girls are much more likely than boys to say they are not good enough to attain all of their dreams. The experts say parents can counter this thinking by recognizing and reinforcing their daughter's positive traits and by applauding her efforts at every opportunity.