NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Starting this fall, New York City daycare centers will be required to have devices like the EpiPen on hand in case a child has a severe allergic reaction.
The New York City Health Department approved a rule that said city-regulated childcare sites must have two auto-injectors available and have at least one staff member who is trained to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Last November, three-year-old Elijah Silvera died after an allergic reaction at his preschool in Harlem. For the boy’s father, every day since then has been a battle.
“Every day we’re fighting, not fighting to be angry, but fighting to bring change, that’s our mission for my son and everyone else who suffers with severe food allergies,” Thomas Silvera told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
On Tuesday, Silvera was back outside the day care center shut down after Elijah’s death. The little boy was there less than a week when his family says he was given a cheese sandwich, even though the school knew he was allergic to dairy products.
Staff members didn’t recognize the signs of Elijah’s anaphylactic shock, and never gave him the medication that may have saved his life.
“With every tragedy there has to be change,” Silvera said. “My son didn’t die in vain.”
Starting in September, a company in Virginia will donate 7,500 auto-injectors called Auvi-Qs.
The new rules also require a staff to call 911 when a child is going through one of those serious reactions. It’s something Silvera says didn’t happen the day his son died.
Elijah’s family is pushing for similar rules in childcare facilities statewide, and believe their beloved little guy is guiding them along the way.