Medical condition makes Halloween about family, not candy

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Most children celebrate Halloween going door to door and filling buckets with candy.

For children with type 1 diabetes, like 10-year-old Jay Kuhmeier, the holiday features fewer sweets.

Instead, the Kuhmeier family trades piles of candy for a night of family fun complete with costumes and lots of games.

"We try really hard to make the night about costumes," said Paige Kuehmeier, Jay's mother. "Our grandparents usually come in from out of town which makes it extra special."

Kuehmeier said when trick or treaters come to the door expecting candy, she always gives them something different.

"I do pretzels every year. And my kids are always like, 'Mom,' but, you know, pretzels are a lot better for you than a Snickers bar is or a Hershey's bar is," she said.{}

Dr. Deborah Bowlby from MUSC treats children with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. She said if you are concerned about what your child is eating, you can find fun ways to trick your kids out of their treats.

"Maybe they want a new bike or they want something different, you can say, 'Hey, if you bring me all that candy home, we can trade you up for something you really want.'"{}

Kuehmeier said you can even exchange candy for money. For example, parents could give their child $1 for every 30 pieces of candy.

So for children like Jay, giving the candy to his parents is money in the bank.