New law protects children with food allergies

Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, in Montgomery. Mid-Hudson News file photo.

MONTGOMERY – Elijah Silvera of Harlem died in 2017 when he was three years old because he ate a grilled cheese sandwich.

Elijah’s death, from anaphylaxis shock, was needless because his child-care provider knew he had a food allergy. Two years later legislation was signed into law, which is now known as Elijah’s Law, which requires all licensed and registered childcare centers in the state to have an anaphylaxis plan. And the state offers free injectors and training to child-care providers to help the families prevent the losses of Elijah and others.

Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, then a state senator from Harlem, co-sponsored the legislation after Elijah died in his community. I touched close to home for Benjamin, who was in Montgomery on Thursday.

“When I heard the story from the Silvera family, it was hard not imagine what they were going through. It charged me and gave me the extra (energy) to fight hard,” the lieutenant governor said.

The lieutenant governor said child-care providers had until September 15 of this year to come up with plan to help with food allergies and obtain the injectors that may save their lives.

“They had some time to put a plan together,” said Benjamin Thursday, at a child-care center outside the Village of Montgomery. “This is sort of putting out to the world that this is the law of the land right now.”

And Benjamin said co-sponsoring this legislation was emotionally charged for him as the father of a young child.

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