Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child. Latex is the milky sap of the tree Hevea brasiliensis from which natural rubber is made. There is another type of rubber made from chemicals called synthetic rubber. Items made from synthetic rubber e. There are two types of allergy related to natural rubber latex, one caused by the natural proteins in latex, the other by chemicals that are used to make the natural latex.
Allergy - Latex allergy | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network
Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product made from the rubber tree. If you have a latex allergy, your body mistakes latex for a harmful substance. Latex allergy may cause itchy skin and hives or even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause throat swelling and severe difficulty breathing. Your doctor can determine if you have a latex allergy or if you're at risk of developing a latex allergy. Understanding latex allergy and knowing common sources of latex can help you prevent allergic reactions. If you're allergic to latex, you're likely to have symptoms after touching latex rubber products, such as gloves or balloons. You can also have symptoms if you breathe in latex particles that are released into the air when someone removes latex gloves.
How Do You Know if Your Child Is Allergic to Latex?
Some children and adults have an allergy or sensitivity to latex rubber. Reactions can be seen when products made from latex come in contact with the child's skin, mucous membranes like the mouth, genitals, bladder or rectum or the bloodstream during surgery. Some children may react when blowing up a rubber balloon or breathing in powder from the inside of latex gloves. When the child has contact with products that contain latex you may see watery, itchy eyes; wheezing; hives, flushing or a skin rash; itching; or swelling.
Latex is a natural rubber made from a type of tree. Some people have allergic reactions after contact with things made of latex, such as latex gloves. In an allergic reaction, your child's immune system starts fighting a substance that is normally harmless, such as latex, as though it were trying to harm the body.