Always be prepared…
Preparing for a power outage from a thunder storm or other inconvenience involves getting some flashlights to have on hand.
Not willing to risk latex exposure by practicing latex avoidance, I decided to order some flashlights online. From the picture, it looked like the flashlights had an aluminum body and LED lights. I didn’t see any black rubber buttons and the description didn’t mention any rubber parts. So, I placed the order, happily thinking these must be latex free and relieved to have them on their way.
Upon arrival, I inspected the flashlight from the sealed packaging and still I saw no rubber, but I could not see 100% of the flashlight. So, the next step was to cut the clamshell package open. Within seconds of just opening one side, I smelled the rubber tire smell and saw a black rubber end of the flashlight, where it would be pressed to turn it on. Holy Moly! In seconds I closed the package, put it in a Ziploc bag and put it outside. Then I washed my hands and took a Benadryl because of the latex exposure. I also located prednisone in my emergency kit and the Epi-Pen. When I walked back in the room where I opened the package 20 minutes earlier I still smelled rubber! In a flash my ears blocked up, my heart raced, my face and hands got red and blotchy and I felt the intestinal fight of flight surge. On my way to the restroom, I grabbed my prednisone, liquid Benadryl and Epi-pen.
After the reaction was under control I contemplated how such a simple thing could kill me and wondered how I could prevent it from happening.
Survival with an allergy to latex and its cross allergens is only possible with latex avoidance, but that is easier said than done. It is difficult to meet some daily needs and avoid latex. There is no government mandate to label food or other merchandise contaminated with latex. My quest in search for a latex free flash light is ongoing. I will be sure to post the answer when the mission is accomplished. Watch this space for more information on products we find are latex free. Feel free to comment if you have found latex free foods and items so those with this confounding, life-threatening latex allergy can avoid it. Thanks a million!