A Harlem family is reeling after a 3-year-old boy died after his preschool allowed him to eat a grilled cheese sandwich despite having a severe dairy allergy.
According to a GoFundMe page for the family, little Elijah Silvera went into anaphylactic shock after eating the sandwich at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services, “despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy.”
Elijah was rushed to the Harlem Hospital pediatric emergency room, but doctors were unable to save him.
The city’s health department shut down the pre-K school for failing to properly supervise the child and for not following its written safety guidelines.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” said Health Department spokesman Christopher Miller.
“We will get to the bottom of what happened here. In the meantime, we’re closing the Center for Family Services and continuing to aggressively investigate what happened and whether the facility could have done something differently to prevent this tragedy.”
City officials said that staff will be sent to the pre-K on Thursday in order to help parents find alternatives.
“Following this tragedy, ACS and DOHMH are actively investigating all aspects of this program. The program is being closely monitored and we will promptly take appropriate action as needed,” ACS spokesperson Aja Worthy-Davis said.