Latex is made from a milky fluid that comes from the rubber tree. It is used to make many products used at home and in healthcare, like gloves.
A latex allergy is a reaction by the immune system when your child has contact with a product made with latex.
If your child is allergic to latex, his or her body reacts to proteins in the latex as harmful and tries to protect itself against it.
Your child may be more likely to have a latex allergy if he or she has had a lot of medical procedures.
Some foods contain proteins similar to the proteins in latex. If your child has allergies to these foods, your child may be more likely to have a latex allergy. Foods having proteins most similar to the proteins in latex are bananas, avocado, kiwi, and chestnuts.
If you think your child is allergic to latex, it is important to get a diagnosis from your healthcare provider or allergist. Symptoms can develop over several hours or they may start right away and be severe. They may include:
It is also possible to have an allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. This is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. The reaction is sudden and severe and involves the whole body. Symptoms of a severe reaction include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. Your child may have a blood test.
There is no specific treatment for latex allergy symptoms. If your child is having a mild skin reaction, you may be able to treat it with steroid cream.
If you think your child is having a severe reaction, take your child to the emergency room or call 911 for help. A severe reaction usually needs to be treated with shots of medicine.
There are many things made from vinyl, plastic, or silicone that can be used instead of latex products.