Springtime colds could be allergies

 

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Tara Nabholz, school nurse, offers Nick Hensley (12) a tutorial on proper hand washing. Photo By Evan Baker

As spring approaches, the winter and springtime begin to overlap. Colds and seasonal allergies could occur within the same season.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some common symptoms of a cold are having a stuffy or runny nose, having a sore throat, having a cough and a fever. This is similar, but different, from seasonal allergy symptoms.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Outdoor allergens from blooming trees and plants often cause these symptoms, unlike colds.

“A cold is caused by a tiny, living thing called a virus.  There are more than 200 types of viruses that can cause a cold,” Tara Nabholz, school nurse, said.

Because many different types of viruses that can cause them, being careful is important because it is very easy to catch a cold from an infected person.

“This usually happens if you touch a surface that has germs on it- a computer keyboard, doorknob, or spoon, for example- and then touch your nose or mouth.  You can also catch a cold if you’re near someone who is sick and sneezes into the air,” Nabholz said.

Since colds are contagious, unlike allergies, it is good to take actions to help prevent yourself from getting a cold.

“Washing your hands, getting plenty of sleep, and by not touching your face [are ways to prevent catching a cold],” Nabholz said.

Some colds can be severe and it is best not to come to school to spread it to other students so it is important to stay home.

“You need to stay home If you have a fever over 100 degrees.  You cannot return back to school until you are fever-free for 24 hours.  If your cold lasts more than 7-10 days you may need to call a doctor in case your cold has turned into an infection” Nabholz says.

Having a cold does not mean that it is acceptable to skip a day of school.

“You’re not going to feel 100% everyday, so yes, it’s okay to come to school with a cold.  If you have a cold, be sure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands often,” Nabholz said.

With the virus going around school it is important to stay healthy. If these precautions do not work and you get a cold, Nabholz cited “getting lots of rest” and “eating healthy foods”.

Allergies can be mediated through medication or staying away from allergy triggers.

By Evan Baker

baker.evan@oakwoodschools.com

 

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