I so often write about my one child who suffers, horribly from all forms of allergies. I write about this because it is all part of consumer education.
We have a hard time eating out because of latex preparation in many kitchens, and sometimes food that is brought into the restaurants has been prepared in facilities that use latex, so we simply can not take the chance.
A recent visit to our dentist has created the latest alert for me to pass on to other parents, and anyone that suffers from Latex Allergies. It is not enough to have your records marked Latex Allergic, nor is it enough to speak up, what must be done for dental visits is to find a dentist that does not use latex at all, and yes this is possible.
1) Fluoride treatments come in bottles, make sure to read the bottle before it is given to your child or to you. We read the bottle with the dentist last night to see why my son was having an allergic reaction from tingling to welting and swelling. The bottle does have a lot of information on it, including that it was Gluten Free, and Nut Free(made in a nut free facility as well). Read this bottle in case your child has other allergies to other things, like nuts, fruits, etc.
2) A room that has had LATEX GLOVES in it, is not suddenly latex free, just because LATEX FREE GLOVES are being used by the dentist or the hygienist. Much more goes into making a room latex free and ready for someone than just latex free gloves. Anything in the room that has come into contact with Latex serves as a potential problem for those with latex allergies. Example: A person in the room, uses latex gloves, pops them on and off all day long, and the light above the dental chair is moved with that person’s hands, that have been in the gloves are out of the gloves, etc., then the latex free gloves move the lamp once again and then those hands are placed in the patient’s mouth that has latex allergies- CROSS CONTAMINATION. What about the scrub sinks, the tables, the charts, anything like this that is not sterilized serves as a hot bed for cross contamination.
A patient that has a latex allergy and has been touched with something that has latex on it, may have an anaphylactic
reaction or swelling, hives, tingling etc. While I am not a Doctor, nor do I pretend to be, I live with a person who has very real Latex allergies. We have been affected by this type of a situation, and there is just not enough I can say to forewarn, recommend and help others with the same situation, to help avoid potential problems and reactions.
If you or your child have symptoms as described above and you are latex allergic, seek medical help immediately, we did. My son ended up on steroids and benadryl, and then of course with a headache, a nauseated stomach and so on.
1) Speak up and make sure that you ask about Latex being used everywhere you go, and try to identify all possible risks and contaminants.
2) Make sure if you are visiting a medical office, you request a LATEX FREE room- if there is not a latex free room or if they do not use vinyl only, you may need to consider finding a new Dr. to avoid any potential problems.
3) When scheduling any kind of surgeries it is imperative that everyone know on the medical staff, down to the scheduling team that you have latex allergies. (some places Like our Local Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital do no allow patients with particular allergies to be taken care of anywhere but in their main facility, not the satellite centers.
4) Dentist offices, Orthodontist and any other Dr.’s office: You will need either an office that is LATEX FREE or a room that they have dedicated to latex free.
5) Restaurants, ask about food preparation in the restaurant(ask a manager) and ask about food that is brought in. We have found many facilities that CAN handle our particular allergy problems, and they are OUTSTANDING at it: including: Applebee’s, Max & Erma’s and McDonald’s! We have learned that Texas Roadhouse is a no no, as well as Primanti’s(food packaging and handling) and Bruegger’s uses latex as well. Some places will be able to help you, and others will not. We simply have a ‘safe list’ and we work from that. HOWEVER, we ask to make sure about food preparation every time we go to the ‘safe list’ because you can never be careful enough!
I do hope this helps any of you out there with latex allergies.
I am not a Dr., I am not pretending to be a Dr. My article is written on pure experience on dealing with severe allergies that plague my child. The symptoms described are not unique to my child and may be experienced by anyone with the type of allergies listed. Make sure to have you or your child tested in order to confirm allergies by a specialist. If you have these allergies and have to carry an EPI PEN, be sure to have it with your everywhere you go. We also carry benadryl, but these are things recommended by our Dr., you need to seek your own personal medical attention. I am not advising, or providing any information to anyone, I am simply discussing how we treat OUR child and where potential LATEX problems are for those who also have an already diagnosed latex problem For any medical questions, please see your Dr.. These are my opinions and yours may differ!