Toddler death in New York City prompts changes to medical emergency rules

November 19, 2017

New York City officials are changing medical emergency protocol after a toddler died earlier this month.

The family of Elijah Silvera, 3, says he suffered anaphylactic shock after an adult at his pre-school gave him a grilled cheese sandwich. The family says he was severely allergic to dairy and the center’s staff was aware of his allergy.

News outlets reported that staff at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services in Harlem called Elijah’s mother before calling 911.

He died in a Manhattan hospital on Nov. 3.

Moving forward, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Administration for Children’s Services will require child care staffers to call 911 during medical emergencies.

In South Carolina, a similar rule already exists. A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services, which regulates day care centers, said the agency requires such centers to have written emergency plans in place.

“Those plans have to be approved by our department, and we provide guidance in writing to them in creating those plans,” said DSS spokeswoman Chrysti Shain. “That guidance includes calling 911 when emergency situations occur, designating which staff member will call 911 and requiring a staff member to remain at the hospital with the child until a parent arrives.”

For more information about quality and safety at child care centers across the state, visit www.scchildcare.org.