A New York preschool – Centre for Family Services has been closed down after a 3-year old boy, Elijah Silvera died from what the family has said was an "allergic reaction".
The New York City Health Department (NYCHD), released a statement, saying it is “continuing to aggressively investigate what happened and whether the facility could have done something differently to prevent this tragedy.”
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will get to the bottom of what happened here".
Relatives of the family have set up a GoFundMe account where they explained that;
“on November 3rd, 2017, our beloved Elijah was playing peacefully at his pre-k in Harlem, NYC, when he 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.”
“Elijah went into anaphylactic shock and was taken to the Pediatric ER at Harlem Hospital, where, tragically, they were unable to save him. Elijah leaves behind his heartbroken mother, Dina, father, Thomas, and his 5-year-old brother Sebastian, as well as dozens of friends and family members who all mourn the loss of his precious young life. Elijah was three years old,” the statement continued.
Speaking to NY Post, Elijah’s cousin, Liz Murray said:
"The school didn’t call 911, they called his mother. She [Elijah’s mom] drove him to Harlem Hospital. It is unclear why they didn’t call 911 first.”
NYC Administration for Children’s Services, in two tweets on Wednesday and Thursday, said:
“The safety and well-being of children in our EarlyLearn centres is critically important. Following a critical incident at any of our EarlyLearn centres, we place the provider on heightened monitoring or a corrective action status.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of 3-year-old Elijah Silvera and are actively investigating all aspects of this EarlyLearn program, along w/ @nycHealthy. In the meantime, @nychealthy has closed the Center for Family Services & is continuing to aggressively investigate".
Quoting a health official, CNN reports that the school was closed for:
"Failing to follow its written safety plan and failing to adequately supervise a child, in violation of the Health Code".
The family, in a statement through their attorney Nicole Weiser said:
“The tragic loss of Elijah Silvera did not have to happen. The failure to follow long-established protocols by both the pre-school and by Harlem Hospital resulted in this monumental loss for the Silvera family".