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School Gives Toddler with Deadly Dairy Allergy a Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Lunch

A three-year-old child is dead, and the grieving family is furious at the preschool. The school staff's gross negligence is what resulted in the very preventable death. The parents had documented their child's allergies with the school and warned them not to give him any form of dairy. The school lunch workers gave the child a cheese sandwich.

Elijah Silvera was only three-years-old. He knew that there were certain foods that he wasn't supposed to eat, but at three a child doesn't understand allergens or ingredients in his lunch. The adults responsible for him are supposed to be the ones looking out for his wellbeing, but they failed little Elijah in the worst way possible.

On November 3, Elijah went to his preschool in the historic Harlem neighborhood of New York City. At lunch time, he was given a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. The little boy was deathly allergic to dairy.

As soon as Elijah started having a reaction, the school should have called 911. Instead, they called Elijah's mother, who came to rush her son to the hospital herself. Little Elijah went into anaphylactic shock and died in the emergency room.

Now his parents are demanding answers. On a fundraiser page trying to raise money for the toddler's funeral, his heartbroken father wrote their son was 'given a grilled cheese sandwich by an adult at the pre-k, despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy'.

"Those matters aside, we would like to go on record as saying: Elijah’s death was completely preventable. 5.9 million children under the age of 18 suffer from food allergies in the United States. That’s 1 in 13 children, which works out to roughly two children with allergies inside of every U.S. classroom. WE CAN AND MUST DO MORE TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM LIFE THREATENING ALLERGIC REACTIONS IN U.S. SCHOOLS," the message read.

The family says they're now 'Focusing on advocacy for other children like Elijah gives us hope'.

New York City has shut down the preschool since the tragic event. The city Health Department ordered the school to be shuttered up after it failed to adequately supervise the children and follow its own written safety plan.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” said 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.”

At this point, both the school and the hospital are being investigated for the child's death to see what share of the blame is due to each. The Administration for Children's Services Early Learn program, the program under which the pre-K was operating, is also being probed. “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.”

Source: Little Things
Photo: ABC7 Chicago, ABC11

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