Latex allergy bracelets or latex allergy jewelry is probably the last thing on anybody's mind when dealing with moderate to severe latex allergies. After all, bracelets, necklaces and anklets may not seem to serve any purpose beyond being decorative. However, when it comes to a chronic condition like a latex allergy, being quickly identified as having this medical condition is often necessary.
This is why latex allergy bracelets are often worn. They are not just to inform anyone about the wearer's health status, but also to alert people, such as rescuers, first-aid staff and medical professionals of the appropriate action to perform when the wearer is involved in an emergency.
When latex allergic people were first encouraged to wear latex allergy bracelets, some people were not very supportive of getting "tagged" as latex allergic. However, the fact that the bracelets were medical alert tags and could help save a life in an emergency quickly showed why it was a necessity. Today, even with modern technology, it still is.
Latex allergy requires special medical care and attention. Signs and symptoms of latex allergy range from mild to severe and can include wheezing, difficulty breathing, hives and skin problems. In the most critical cases, latex allergy can cause anaphylaxis — a severe, life-threatening reaction, which requires treatment with an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room.
In some emergencies, the latex-allergic person may not always be able to speak or communicate. He or she may even be completely unresponsive. Furthermore, an emergency may occur when a relative or a friend who has knowledge about the allergic person's latex allergy may not be around. In these cases, a latex allergic bracelet can silently inform the attending medical personnel of the disease and what may have brought on the attack.
Latex allergy can be a tricky condition to have, as most medical personnel wear latex gloves while handling patients. Besides being in contact with the latex in rubber gloves, you may be exposed by inhaling airborne latex particles, which can be released when latex gloves are removed. People with latex allergies should carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) at all times. But in the event you are unable to communicate your needs in an emergency, or administer the injection yourself, a latex allergy bracelet could make the difference in getting the treatment you need.
Always ensure that you or your loved one is wearing a latex allergy bracelet at all times and especially before leaving the house. If necessary, pack an extra bracelet during special trips, particularly if you will be travelling alone or will be leaving town for a long period of time. Always wear the bracelet where it can be spotted easily and avoid taking it off. Great new designs won’t cramp your style and it can mean the difference between living a healthy life and suffering major medical consequences.
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