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Hidden sources of latex

If you have a latex allergy, you probably know to avoid rubber gloves, balloons and condoms. But latex lurks in other spots, too: You may encounter rubber gloves in hospitals and medical offices, and restaurant workers wear them. Latex is also found in school supplies, rubber bands, erasers, rubber toys, feeding nipples, pacifiers—even the elastic in clothing. If you’re allergic, latex can cause everything from an itchy rash to serious trouble breathing. The best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid exposure, so if you or your child is allergic, tell your healthcare provider, dentist, employer and school personnel. Also discuss with your provider whether you need to wear a medical bracelet that identifies the allergy.