The stereotype of the runny nosed preschooler is not so far fetched. The difference between allergies caused by environmental irritants and colds caused by viruses can be tough to sort out in this age group. After all, germs spread like wildfire through the preschool crowd who tends to touch everything and everyone. The little ones are still sucking thumbs and rubbing eyes but aren’t so skilled at hand washing. At the same time, environmental allergies affect this age group just as much as in our older kids. Your pediatrician can help sort out if your child suffers from back-to-back cold viruses or from allergies, although it isn’t always straightforward. After all, the apple does not fall far from the tree. If one biological parent has allergies, a child has about a forty to fifty percent chance of having allergies. If both parents do, then the kid is doomed to about an eighty percent chance of allergies. If you have seasonal allergies (hay fever), you know all about the aggravating symptoms they can cause, from a runny or congested nose to watery eyes, sneezing, and itching. These symptoms occur when you’re exposed to allergens such as: Allergens cause these symptoms by prompting certain cells throughout your body, called mast cells, to release a substance called histamine. Histamine binds to parts of cells called H1 receptors in your nose and eyes. This action helps open blood vessels and increase secretions, which helps protect your body from allergens. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the resulting runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and itching. Allegra and Claritin are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can help relieve allergy symptoms. They’re both antihistamines, which work by blocking histamine from binding to H1 receptors. While these drugs work in a similar way, they’re not identical.
Jan 15, 2019. Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are all considered newer generation. Allegra is dosed twice a day for children age 2 to 11, and once a day for. Allegra vs. Claritin What's the Difference. For specific dosage information for adults or children, read the product package carefully or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.