When Tia Mowry steps out to trick-or-treat with her kids this week, her son Cree, age 7, will be channeling his super-powers in a Black Panther costume, but Mowry will be keeping her eyes peeled for Cree's kryptonite: Peanuts. If our superhero metaphor is mixed, maybe it's fitting, because there will, unfortunately, be a lot of peanuts mixed in with Halloween candy on Wednesday and Mowry is speaking out about how that impacts her son and 1.5 million other American children for whom peanuts really are scary. A piece of candy with a peanut in it could send Cree (and millions of other kids) to the emergency room, so Mowry hopes parents who don't live with a peanut allergy will be thinking of kids like Cree on Wednesday.
"It's really important that we have co-protectors out there, other parents or people who don't have children who can empathize and educate themselves about the seriousness that comes along with having a child with a peanut allergy," Mowry tells Motherly. Mowry says a lot of moms of kids with peanut allergies feel judged by people who don't understand how serious allergies can be, and a recent survey backs her up. According to a national survey by DBV technologies, about 48% of parents with kids who have a peanut allergy are concerned about being perceived as overprotective. The thing is, moms like Mowry aren't trying to be the "peanut police" or a helicopter parent. They're just trying to keep their children safe. That's why Mowry is talking about Cree's allergy, whenever she can. When people understand where she's coming from, judgment gets replaced with empathy, and Halloween gets a little easier for her family. "It would make me incredibly happy if I knock on a door and my son says 'Trick or treat' and there's a parent there who says, 'Okay this is a jack-o-lantern with peanuts in it and this is one without'," she explains.