I had an “I’m a bad parent” moment this morning. All last week, Little Man had a diaper rash that kept getting progressively worse until it became an open bleeding mess yesterday. Diaper changes were awful. He cried and screamed and tried to get away. If I asked him if he needed his diaper changed he would shake his head and run the opposite direction. I thought maybe it was because he had some cherries – which are a new food and can on rare occasions have a reaction for people with latex allergies. There are a whole host of food that people with latex allergies can have a reaction to – hence I seem to be allergic to everything and I worry my son is too.
I immediately eliminated everything from his diet that was ‘new’ and gave him plenty of open diaper time in a pre-fold with no cover to air out. We don’t EC and I was not following closely enough this weekend to let him run loose in my MIL’s house with no diaper. The rash just kept getting worse. I finally broke down and bought some diaper cream to put on him so he could find some relief. I just thought to myself, “I’ll just have to wash and strip the diapers when this rash is over.”
That was when it hit me. This was similar to the rash he had when he was an infant and his diapers were the culprit with their inclusion of latex. I had recently switched to soap nuts to wash his diapers because they were on sale and I was still using less then ideal, store detergent for my diapers. Soap nuts will save money, wash my diapers and clothes, are biodegradable, hypoallergenic and are dermatologist recommended for people with sensitive skin. HOWEVER after much research this morning before I left for work I realized that soap nuts contain saponin, which is related to latex and can cause reactions in people who have latex allergies. All the box said about allergies was Hypoallergenic and would not cross-react with nut allergies. Well, excuse me it does cause a reaction for latex allergies.
I’m having a moment where I like a product and I would recommend it as a natural laundry product but it isn’t for my family and I am annoyed that there was not an allergy warning on the box or the company’s site and it took me an hour of actual research to find out that we are allergic to its main component. So I am writing this post to underline the importance of knowing your child’s allergies inside and out. Either way I’m disappointed that no where on the actual company’s site does it mention the possibility of a cross-reaction with latex allergies.
I have found as a parent of a latex sensitive child and myself being allergic to latex that there are a lot of products out there that contain latex. Most are responsible and label themselves as containing latex and then I know to search for an alternative that is safe for my family. I do however come across some products which I would love to try and have to dig a little deeper into the scientific names of the components to realize that they are in fact made of latex. My safest bet so far has been if it is rubbery in texture and does not say on the packaging latex free to avoid it. Sorry Sophie you will not be finding a home in this house either. Hevea sap is latex after all – even though I would love to own one.
As a working parent I have found that it is important to know my child’s list of known and potential allergies ahead of time because he does have to be cared for outside of the home. At his young age he cannot identify or describe this to an adult so I need to advocate for him. The American Latex Allergy Association has a handout of cross-reactive foods. There is a list of common products that pose a potential risk to those with allergies because they may contain latex. As well as a compilation of alternative products for personal or medical use. There are also links to medical alert jewelry and other products that can be helpful in identifying your child as having an allergy.