Family: 3-year-old with dairy allergy died after school served grilled cheese

NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities have closed a New York City pre-school after a 3-year-old boy died from what his family says was an allergic reaction after being fed a grilled cheese sandwich.

A GoFundMe page set up by the family of 3-year-old Elijah Silvera says he went into anaphylactic shock Nov. 3 at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services in Manhattan. The family says the toddler had a severe allergy to dairy but was given a grilled cheese sandwich by an adult at the pre-K.

"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," the family wrote on the GoFundMe page. 

Relatives say he was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he died.

The following statement was posted on the GoFundMe page:

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.

City health officials ordered the pre-kindergarten school closed on Wednesday for failing to follow its written safety plan and failing to adequately supervise a child. Agency officials say they’re investigating the boy’s death.

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