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5-year-old who was left in car dies outside Texas elementary school

The child, a student at the elementary school in Mission, is related to a staff member at the school, police said.
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A 5-year-old died in a vehicle outside his Texas elementary school Thursday as triple-digit heat was recorded in the region, officials said.

The boy is related to a staff member at Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary School in Mission, a city of around 85,700 on the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, the school district police chief said Friday.

The high in McAllen on Thursday was 101, according to the National Weather Service.

A 911 call was made around 4 p.m. about an unresponsive child, and officials began CPR but the boy could not be resuscitated, said Raul Gonzalez, chief of police for the La Joya school district.

Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary School in Mission, Texas.
Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary School in Mission, Texas.Google Maps

Officials did not say how the boy died or how long he was inside the car at a Friday news conference.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that when the child was found he was not breathing.

School district Superintendent Gisela Saenz said the boy was a student. She said it was an isolated event, and that schools are safe.

“I ask the community to keep the family, our students and our staff at Americo Paredes Elementary in their thoughts and their prayers as they navigate through this tragic event,” she said.

The incident is under investigation by school district police, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and child protective services, Gonzalez said.

Children can quickly develop heatstroke and die in hot vehicles. Last year, 23 children in the U.S died of vehicular heatstroke, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

So far this year, there have been 18 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths, according to the website, which tracks cases.