Protection from Latex Allergy for you and your family
Balloons have the reputation of being the most popular gift given to the patients and children. You must be cautious while gifting a balloon especially to a child as latex can lead to occurrence of allergy known as latex allergy. Products like tubing and tape and gloves used in the hospitals are manufactured from latex. Latex is also used for producing most types of balloons. Considering the feasibility of latex allergy these products have become matter of concern in the medical community.
Healthcare providers are on higher risk of developing latex allergy owing to their frequent contact with the rubber latex substances. Also children, those who have undergone surgeries number of times are on high risk of developing latex allergy. Apart from these, people, who are known cases of other types of allergy like food allergy or pollen allergy, are also on risk of developing latex allergy. Health is the main aspect of concern for all. Following information will help you in providing protection for yourself and your family against the latex allergy.
Dangers of Latex Allergy
Symptoms of rubber latex allergy may range from mild to severe. Some of the common symptoms include sneezing, itching nose, coughing, runny nose, breathing difficulties and watery eyes. In severe reaction a person can go into anaphylactic shock called Anaphylaxis. Though Anaphylaxis is very rare it is life-threatening allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis may lead to dangerous reduction of blood pressure levels, difficulty in breathing and even loss of consciousness. If you experience signs of anaphylaxis you must consult your doctor for immediate medical attention.
Sensitivity of Children to Latex
You must have observed that some children are more sensitive to latex when compared to other children. It is a known fact that children exposed frequently to the latex are on high risk of developing latex allergy. Even the children who have to undergo surgeries number of times (which increase their exposure to latex) are more prone to latex allergy. Other high risk factors include children born with urinary system abnormalities and children with spina bifida. Children, who are known cases of other allergies like food allergy, are also on high risk of developing latex allergy. Proteins present in the latex is main cause of development of latex allergy hence food items containing proteins like chestnuts, bananas, papaya, peaches, avocados, plums, passion fruit, tomatoes, figs, nectarines etc also increases the risk of developing latex allergy. If your child is known cases of latex allergy avoid giving such fruits to your child.
Avoid products to deter latex sensitivity
As is said ‘avoid’ is the golden word for providing protection against latex allergy. Avoid exposure to latex products. This will help you in reducing risk of developing latex allergy.; Use items manufactured from other substances like plastic, vinyl, silicone or synthetic rubbers in place of latex products. Usually, latex products are light brown in color and bear the characteristic of stretching.
Rubber balls, diapers, balloons, pacifiers, erasers and bandages used in daily life, at home, may contain latex. Medical gloves, adhesive tapes, catheters and stethoscopes used in hospitals and clinics are examples of latex products used for medical procedures. A type of powder is spread on the medical gloves to help sliding of the gloves on hand. This powder can bind to the proteins present in latex. The possibility of inhaling and aerosolizing such protein containing powder can not be ruled out. This could lead to development of latex allergy through breathing of latex proteins while breathing. Considering the risk of latex allergy many hospitals have sorted out to use of latex free products. This will ultimately reduce the exposure of such products with patients. Biogel surgical gloves are example of powder-free latex gloves and Biogel Skinsense line is example of non-latex gloves.
Steps to be taken when a child is suspected of having latex allergy
If you suspect that your child is sensitive to the latex you must consult your doctor. After conducting certain tests your doctor will confirm whether your child has latex sensitivity or not. If your child is diagnosed positive for latex protein allergy you must inform about this to health care providers (doctors, dentists and nurses), teachers, family members and daycare providers.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for latex allergy till date. However, adherence to following tips will help your child in coping up with latex sensitivity and help him in living comfortable life,
- Request your doctors to use latex-free environment for medical procedures if your child has to undergo a surgery, if your child is sensitive to latex protein.
- Avoid use of latex products at home as well as hospitals
- Request your doctor to evaluate the child for pre-medication before surgery. This will help in preventing reaction.
- Provide your child with medic-Alert necklace or bracelet
- Buy non-latex gloves, notes on latex allergies and follow instructions given in it.
- Teach your child to identify latex products and methods of avoiding exposure to latex products.
- Learn how to deal with the case of latex allergy.