California is set to adopt new childcare safety standards to protect children with food allergies. The passing of two toddlers, 3000 miles away from one another, has parents from both coasts campaigning for California to join the other states in passing “Elijah’s Law”.
Nearly a decade ago, Natalie Giorgi died at Camp Sacramento of an allergic reaction to peanuts when she bit into a dessert that had been prepared with a peanut product.
Natalie’s parents had notified the staff of her peanut allergy.
Elijah Silvera, a three-year-old boy, died four years after a childcare worker in New York fed him a grilled cheese sandwich. Although Silvera’s parents had notified the staff that their son was allergic to dairy, the sandwich was still served, and Silvera subsequently died from an allergic reaction.
“This is something very important to us because we don’t want any other parent to have to go through what we did when we received the call from our child’s school,” said Thomas Silvera, Elijah’s father.
Dina and Thomas Silvera spearheaded a campaign to create Elijah’s Law. This legislation now requires daycare facilities to take specific measures to manage food allergies, including emergency response protocols, in New York.
They have also created an online tool kit to help inspire other states to adopt similar laws.
Natalie’s parents, Joanne and Louis Giorgi, Elijah’s parents, and a Stockton lawmaker are teaming up to push for California to enact a proposal similar to the one in New York.
AB 2042 was introduced in the California State Assembly by Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua.
Joanne Giorgi, Natalie’s mother, said that you don’t want someone else to suffer what you have when you can have training in place and make a difference. It’s almost indescribable in words. You do whatever you can to make sure another family doesn’t suffer the same loss.
The bill has yet to be assigned to a committee.