I used to think latex was a godsend. It came from a tree – what could be safer? As it turned out, it’s become the bane of many health workers’ existence. But health care workers aren’t the only ones affected. In fact, latex gloves have been banned in several states, and the district of Sandwich in Cap Cod, Massachusetts has just banned latex from their schools.
The problem with latex isn’t just latex allergy; true latex allergy is pretty rare. But continued exposure can cause a person to develop a sensitivity to latex which can have symptoms so severe it’s virtually impossible to distinguish from a true allergy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) symptoms “usually begin within minutes of exposure; but they can occur hours later and can be quite varied. Mild reactions to latex involve skin redness, rash, hives, or itching. More severe reactions may involve respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and asthma (difficult breathing, coughing spells, and wheezing). Rarely, shock may occur; however, a life-threatening reaction is seldom the first sign of latex allergy.” See more info on the CDC latex webpage.
We don’t use latex in our crib mattresses because of the allergy/sensitivity potential. It’s just not a risk we would want to take with our own kids, and we don’t want other parents to have to cope with it either. Babies spend 12 to 15 hours a day in their cribs – that’s pretty high exposure! If you’re looking for a crib mattress without latex, check us out.