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Sneezing, Running Nose & Light Sensitivity in a Child

author image Jason Aberdeene
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.
Sneezing, Running Nose & Light Sensitivity in a Child
A young boy is blowing his nose outside. Photo Credit 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images

If your child suffers symptoms that include sneezing, a runny nose and light sensitivity, she may have a common cold or flu. While these symptoms are likely the result of common childhood ailments, it is important to take your child to a doctor to rule out something more serious.

Sneezing and Runny Nose

If your child is sneezing and has a runny nose, she may be suffering from allergies, a cold or the flu. Colds are typically caused by rhinoviruses that penetrate the lining of your throat and nose, causing irritation that results in runny noses and sneezing. Sneezing is your child's way of rejecting these irritants and flushing them out of her system. If these symptoms appear every time your child is exposed to a certain food product or certain climate, take her to the doctor to get a thorough allergy test done.

Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity is a common symptom that typically indicates your child is suffering from a migraine or headache. In addition, light sensitivity can be caused by excessively dry eyes, which can get red and irritated. Light sensitivity can also be a result of more serious ailments such as glaucoma or photophobia. If your child is suffering from light sensitivity, take him to the doctor to make sure it is not a result of a more serious condition.

Multiple Symptoms

If your child is suffering from all three of these symptoms, it is most likely that a common cold has caused irritation to multiple parts of your child's body, including the nose and mouth. In addition, eye irritants may be the direct cause of the light sensitivity in your child. Headaches are also a normal symptom of the cold or flu; they may indirectly result in light sensitivity for your child.


While sneezing and a runny nose paired with light sensitivity are often symptoms of a mild illness or ailment, continue to strictly monitor your child's health. If the symptoms worsen over the course of 24 hours, take your child to her pediatrician, describing all symptoms you have witnessed. While light sensitivity is usually a benign symptom, it can also be a result of something more serious, such as a brain tumor or a neurological disorder that must be diagnosed immediately.

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