3-Year-Old With Dairy Allergy Dies After Preschool Serves Him a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

boy with dairy allergy killed by grilled cheese in preschool

Following proper safety protocols is extremely important in spaces where children go to be taken care of and learn. One forgotten step or an overlooked rule could result in real tragedy, and that's exactly what happened at one preschool in New York City. Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services in Harlem has been shut down following the tragic death of a 3-year-old boy under its care.


According to CBS New York, an educator at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services allegedly gave 3-year-old Elijah Silvera a grilled cheese sandwich on Wednesday afternoon, despite a severe dairy allergy that reports say was well-documented by the school. Shortly after eating the sandwich, Elijah went into anaphylactic shock before being rushed to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, doctors were not able to save him. 

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The daycare center serves around 40 other children but was immediately shut down on Wednesday by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which said in a statement that it was "continuing to aggressively investigate what happened and whether the facility could have done something differently to prevent this tragedy."

toddler killed by grilled cheese in preschool

Health officials also claim the preschool had failed to follow any kind of written safety protocol plan and was being investigated for failure to "supervise a child adequately."

Elijah's grieving family continues to search for answers and seek justice, and officials have promised to provide both. "There is nothing more important than the safety of our children and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy," the health department said in its statement. "We will get to the bottom of what happened here."

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A GoFundMe campaign has been created by Elijah's family to fund his funeral and support his heartbroken parents. Ruben Porras, a relative of Elijah's, tells CBS New York the little boy will always be missed. "He was just a light -- if you see him, he's just a bright light," he said. "He's one of those kids that ... he was one of those kids that when you walk in the room and saw him you just light up."

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