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Do balloons really draw people in so much that they are worth the risk?

That question probably means nothing to the average person.

But to me, someone who is severely allergic to latex, it is the first question I have for restaurants, businesses, schools, and every other place that I go and have to encounter latex balloons.

Can I be around latex? Well kind of. I can’t touch it without breaking out in hives. And if closed in with them I will start wheezing. Even walking down the rug aisle at Walmart or Target can cause me to have trouble breathing.

People don’t think about all the products that have latex. Majority of rugs have latex backing. Majority of band-aids have latex packaging. The list of products I have to avoid and the list of supplemental things that I need to watch carefully for reactions is ridiculously long.

Companies don’t think about how while they are trying to draw people in or provide some entertainment for the children, they are causing others to have to risk their lives.

Most hospitals haven’t allowed latex balloons for a few years now.

When will the rest of society wake up to this allergy?

Last week I specifically avoided a certain bar because they were doing a balloon drop with prizes in honor of their one year anniversary.

I cringe anytime there are children’s activities at the mall in fear there might be balloons.

During graduate school I butted heads with the Dean of Students multiple times over the amount of balloons they would put in the student center on  visit days and any other event. Not only are those balloons a risk to my health and many others, but they are a waste of money. High school seniors aren’t going to be more likely to go somewhere because they have balloons in their student center. Or at least that was the least of my concerns back then.

Latex is everywhere and I know I have to always watch out for it, but I will rejoice the day society begins to at least open their eyes and try to accommodate on some level for those of us that are allergic to it.