November 9, 2017 / 10:09 PM / a year ago

NY City closes pre-school after toddler with dairy allergy dies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City authorities have closed a pre-school after a 3-year-old boy died from what his family said was an allergic reaction after being fed a grilled cheese sandwich even though the staff knew the toddler suffered from a severe dairy allergy.

Elijah Silvera went into anaphylactic shock on Friday after an adult at the school gave him the sandwich, the family said on a page they set up on the GoFundMe fundraising site. He died after being taken to Harlem Hospital, the family said.

The publicly funded school, the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services, in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood, was closed for failing to follow its written safety plan and failing to adequately supervise a child, the New York City Health Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The department is “continuing to aggressively investigate what happened and whether the facility could have done something differently to prevent this tragedy,” the department said.

An official at the pre-school declined to comment.

The family’s GoFundMe page has raised over $27,000, in part, to pay for an independent autopsy.

“It is unclear where responsibility for Elijah’s death will fall between the pre-k and the hospital itself,” the family said on GoFundMe.

Harlem Hospital declined to comment immediately.

Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Leslie Adler

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