New State Law Raises Bar for How Daycare Centers Keep Kids with Food Allergies Safe


The Elijah-Alavi Foundation and Belay partner to help daycares conform with the new guidelines

NEW YORK – November 22, 2019

On September 12, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed the Elijah Bill into law. It mandates that all New York daycares implement food allergy preparedness programs. The legal guidelines call for both Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Training for all staff and a food allergy protocol for emergencies.

The law is named after Elijah Silvera, a 3 year-old boy who died because his daycare didn’t prevent exposure to a food to which he was allergic and then did not respond properly or in time when he experienced anaphylactic shock. Elijah unfortunately passed away in the hospital. A wholly avoidable tragedy.

This new law is the culmination of the relentless efforts of Elijah’s father, Thomas Silvera, raising awareness of the need to ensure that what happened to his son would not happen to another child and advocating for government action to ensure it doesn’t.

Click to visit sponsor

“This legislation is a major step in the right direction,” says Thomas. “Next, we’ve got to do everything it takes to get the city’s daycare centers to comply with the law as quickly as possible. There’s no time to waste. There are over 3,000 licensed daycare centers in NYC who need to get the right programs in place.”

In aid of helping daycare centers to comply, The Elijah-Alavi Foundation has joined with Belay, a company devoted to working with childcare centers to keep children with food allergies safe and secure, to provide access to the gold standard in childcare center allergy preparedness programs. With this program in place daycare centers can be assured that they meet the State’s standards as established in the Elijah law,

Daycare centers and their personnel will be trained and then certified by Belay. This is the only entity to be accredited and to provide this level of training and to be endorsed by the New York Allergy and Asthma Society. “The New York Allergy and Asthma Society is proud to endorse the Belay and Elijah-Alavi Foundation initiative, which has created the first and only in-person food allergy training program for daycare centers, schools and childcare organizations. “

Click to visit sponsor

“Only once every daycare in New York has the right program in place can we be assured that what happened to Elijah will not happen again, says Thomas. “The Foundation is committed to encouraging daycares big and small to move as quickly as possible in the right direction.”

For its part, Belay is determined to train and certify as many daycares as possible as quickly as possible. As of the week of November 18, the rollout of the Belay initiative has begun. At this writing the inaugural Bely program is in place. Ten others have already signed on and a deluge expected in the next few months. Belay’s goal is to have 300 daycares certified by the end of 2020.

“Yes, we consider daycares and schools job one,” says Founder and CEO Dr. Abby Herzig,” But that’s just the start. “We’re already in discussion with child care organizations.throughout the state and other regions of the country. There is a plan in place to launch a Canadian initiative in Toronto next year and to subsequently roll out a national undertaking up there as well.”

Click to visit sponsor

“This is a truly unique partnership between us, a Foundation dedicated to advocating for the protection of children with food allergies from harm in public settings and Belay, a social enterprise determined to advance the highest standard of preparedness for those with responsibility for the health and safety of children in their care. Together, we’re going to make the world a safe place for these kids. It makes me very proud to be a part of this initiative.” About the Training Initiative:

Click to download the full press kit

About The Elijah Alavi Foundation

The Elijah-Alavi Foundation was founded to ensure that all infants and children with severe food allergies and asthma have safe spaces to learn and socialize in daycare centers and schools. We intend to achieve this mission by partnering with a network of organizations and professionals to provide the training, resources, and counsel for educators and school administrators to implement policies that reduce the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions in children. The most imperative aspect of such a partnership is the shared interests in the diverse communities we serve, as every demographic represented among them depends upon us for our commitment to public health and overall well-being.

To find out more information on the Elijah-Alavi Foundation Website
Instagram @Elijahsecho
Facebook @Beelijahsecho

About Belay

Belay was founded to help families, daycares, and schools manage life-threatening food allergies. Our mission is to keep food-allergic children safe and empower those around them with the necessary tools to be prepared for a food-allergic reaction.

Belay believes that protecting the health, safety, and lives of children should be a recognized societal responsibility

To find out more information on Belay Website Instagram @WeBelay
Facebook @WeBelay

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Abby Herzig, Co-Founder and CEO of Belay Phone: 416.618.8615

Print or share this article
Watch: Elijah’s Law to Protect Children with Food Allergies in Daycare Passes

Print or share this article
Click to visit sponsor
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

Find Allergy-Friendly Products