The New York State Office of Children and Family Services today announced “Elijah’s Law” is now in effect in New York State. The law is named for three-year-old Elijah Silvera, who died after his child care program gave him a grilled cheese sandwich, even though his parents notified the provider that he was severely allergic.
Child care programs must follow new health care guidelines for planning and response to prevent such tragedies. OCFS services will provide free training and a free Auvi-Q injector pen dosed for small children who show symptoms of anaphylaxis.
“One in 13 children has a food allergy and many may not yet be aware that they have it. Our child care providers must prepare a plan for children with such allergies, know how to spot anaphylaxis and call 911 if it happens,” said Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, who sponsored the legislation as a Senator.
“The state has removed barriers for providers to have this potentially life-saving tool on hand. The auto injector initiative provides a prescription to programs who complete the training, we are providing the training for free and are providing free epinephrine auto injector pens. We want to make sure that no family suffers the anguish that Elijah’s family did.”
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin worked on “Elijah’s Law” with Elijah’s father, Thomas Silvera. The law requires a communication plan, a response plan and allows child care providers to have an Auvi-Q epinephrine auto injector on hand. The Auvi-Q injector is dosed for small children who weigh between 16.5 and 33 pounds.
“As a father myself, I was heartbroken when I learned of Elijah’s story,” said Assembly Member Al Taylor, who co-sponsored the bill. “It has been my honor to work with the Silvera family to stop preventable food allergy deaths in child care programs. All parents whose children are enrolled in a child care program should urge their provider to participate. We must protect our most precious resource, our children.”
“OCFS commends Lieutenant Governor Benjamin, his Assembly co-sponsor Al Taylor and the Silvera family for their tenacious work in securing passage of this important legislation in New York State,” said OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “And we thank Governor Hochul for her leadership in eliminating barriers that might otherwise prevent child care programs from participating in this initiative.”
OCFS strongly encourages all child care providers to take the free online training program available at ecetp.pdp.albany.edu and, upon completion, request their Auvi-Q injector package, which will be shipped to their program at no cost. The package includes two stock auto injectors and one training device.