Policy: Latex Allergy Accommodation
Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product made from the rubber tree. Latex allergy may cause itchy skin and hives or even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause throat swelling and severe difficulty breathing (source: mayoclinic.org). This year, several Science Olympiad participants have been identified as having latex allergies. In order to provide a safe environment for competition, Colorado Science Olympiad will make the following adjustments to the competition environment for regional and state tournaments in 2018:
- The Mission Possible event will be held in a room remote from the rest of the competition, with doors remaining closed (or other barrier installed if closed doors are not possible) to avoid latex residue spreading in the air through the rest of the tournament.
- A separate room for testing Mission Possible devices will be offered to allergic students, with testing times coordinated so that the main event supervisor can be there to do the test.
- We ask that the Write It Do It event not include any latex products in the structure to be built.
- A testing area for Mission Possible devices will be provided, to avoid testing (and possibly breaking) the balloons in team home-base or common areas.
- Signs will be posted in the common area(s) alerting participants to latex allergies, requesting that they not test or play with balloons in any room outside the competition/testing area.
Coaches should make sure that their teams are aware of these changes, and arrange testing and setup of Mission Possible devices accordingly.