How dogs are helping save kids with life-threatening allergies

One family shares the story of how their highly-trained Labrador retriever, Trixie, is helping a boy with life-threatening nut allergies live a normal life.
4:45 | 05/14/19

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Transcript for How dogs are helping save kids with life-threatening allergies
The empire state building lit up to mark the start of food large awareness week. 1 in 13 children has one and that's about two in every classroom. Now there is a new way to help prevent an allergy attack using dogs. This beautiful Labrador named trixie is just like every dog. She enjoys treat and playing fetch but she's more than just a pet. She's a super sniffer who can potentially save lives. 13-year-old Hayden got trixie three years ago to help with his life-threatening nut allergy. Something that over 6 million Americans suffer from. So now trixie goes everywhere with Hayden, to school, to dinner, even to hang out with friends. I feel safer with having trixie with me day to day. That added layer because she can do things that no human can do. Reporter: Trixie is one of the many trained Kay newspapers in the U.S. Who with their keen sense of smell can detect even trace amounts of nuts. Good girl. Reporter: Hayden's parents started looking for help beyond an epipen after he accidentally ate a candy bar with peanuts sending him into anaphylactic shock and a five-day coma. I thought we had lost him. I thought if we gave him the epipen and good him to the hospital we would be okay. He will not live through another reaction so you're going to have a choice to make. You can either keep him at home and keep him away from everything and keep him 100% safe or you can continue to educate people around you. Reporter: So the family turned to a company tra trains dogs to detect foods that might be deadly to people. Check up here. Reporter: Trixie picked and trained just for Hayden. You can't put a price on her. For what she's done for my family. She's pretty special. And Dr. Jen Ashton joins us now as well as Hayden and trixie. Good to have you all here. You guys make a great team. You make a great team. There's not a lot of evidence to prove how well this work. It's kind of a new use for a therapy dog. Works, though. And there is not a lot of data around it. We have to qualify this is not a substitute for Hayden being smart and asking about food, looking, but it's an added layer of protection that make his parents feel really good and, again, right now these dogs are highly specialized. They're very specially trained and they are expensive but I think it's just another incredible utility for animals and how they can really help people with some medical Like their parents say you can't put a price tag on this. This is too invaluable. What are the symptoms of an This hits home for me as you know. I have life-threatening food allergies but the classic one, trouble breathing, tightening of your throat, lightheadedness, rash or hivesome and some have nausea first when they ingest and some people can be sensitive to either aerosol or contact exposure as well. You guys go through training sessions at home. Like your dad earlier had a training aid. You use live tree nuts. Yes, so basically I just stay away from them and we take many precautions and use gloves and everything like that. So your dad did hide something. Yes. You're going to show us how trixie works. Yes. She's going to do her stuff. Do you want to go find it? Find it. Check here. What is it? Got to find it. Where is it? No, check over here. Check here. When he finds it what does he do? She'll sit. No, over here. No, come on. Check here. Check up here. And, robin, we actually saw her check the dressing room, I mean. Oh, okay. Good girl. So when she finds it. So when she finds it I'll say show me and she'll point to the direction where the aid is. Show me. Oh, wow. Good girl. So she's pointing to where it is so it's right down here. We don't want you -- Yeah. It's hidden. It's in a jar. I want to be clear. This is not something that people should start training their own animals at home by exposing themselves but this is incredible, right? Yes. Trixie. Sorry I called you a guy, trixie. You look good. You do regular training at home. Key. Thank you, Hayden.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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