(FOX5NY) – A Harlem pre-K school was closed by the city after a 3-year-old boy with a dairy allergy was reportedly given a grilled cheese sandwich to eat.
It happened at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services.
Elijah Silvera went into anaphylactic shock after eating the sandwich. Silvera was rushed to Harlem Hospital but it was too late.
In a statement, the city health department said: “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.”
The city says it will investigate to see if the facility could have done something differently to prevent the tragedy.
The school was closed for failing to follow its written safety plan and failing to adequately supervise a child, which is in violation of the city’s health code. The school was last inspected in September and no violations were cited in that visit.
City officials say they will assist families in finding alternative programs for their children.
The family of Elijah Silvera has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses and to conduct an independent autopsy.
In a statement, they said: “Our family is only beginning the long and painful process of adjusting to a world that does not include Elijah in it. As we ease into this unthinkable reality and say goodbye to our sweet, joyful Elijah–and our hopes and dreams for all he would become–we thank you for your support.”
Along with his parents, the 3-year-old leaves behind a 5-year-old brother.