Pediatric Latex Allergy

Pediatric Latex Allergy

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Summary

A latex allergy is a reaction to proteins found in natural rubber latex.

Expanded overview

Natural rubber latex comes from the sap of the rubber tree. A child with a latex allergy will have a reaction, such as hives or itching, when they come in contact the sap’s proteins, either through direct contact or inhalation (breathing in particles).

Latex is a common element in many medical and dental supplies such as bandages, catheters or gloves. It is also found in everyday products including athletic shoes, balloons, clothing waistbands and pacifiers.

Causes

The exact cause of latex allergies is unknown. However, it is thought that some children with medical conditions or sensitives – or those that have a family history of them – are more likely to also have a latex allergy. These include:

Symptoms

Symptoms often occur after multiple exposures to latex over time. Symptoms range from mild to severe and will vary depending on the child’s sensitivity.

Mild symptoms

  • Hives, rashes or red patches
  • Itching

Moderate symptoms

  • Coughing or scratchy throat
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Itchy, watery or red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

Severe symptoms

Pediatric Anaphylaxis is the most-severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to latex. The following symptoms typically occur shortly after the exposure:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing and wheezing
  • Dizziness and/or fainting
  • Hives and red rashes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Slurred speech
  • Swollen face, lips and throat
  • Unconsciousness

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