• children;
  • Latex allergy;
  • population-based cohort study


Background Latex allergy has been highlighted as a problem in children during the last decade based on a number of case series of children with particular problems such as spina bifida. The actual prevalence of latex allergy in the general United Kingdom population is unclear.

Objective To estimate the prevalence of childhood latex allergy in the general population.

Methods The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children is a geographically based cohort that has been prospectively followed since birth. The children were invited for skin prick testing at 7 years of age.

Results Four subjects out of 1877 tested were sensitized to latex. None had a history of clinical reactions to latex.

Conclusion This study suggests that the prevalence of latex sensitization and clinical latex allergy in the general childhood population are very low, 0.2% (95% confidence interval 0.1–0.6%) and 0.0% (0–0.2%), respectively.