A three-year-old boy has died after being left in a hot car outside a school for several hours in temperatures that could have been over 35C outside, said police.
Emergency services rushed to Lubavitch Educational Center in Miami Gardens, in Florida, after Shalom Tauber’s parents found him unconscious in the car at around 3.47pm local time on Monday.
The boy’s parents both work at the school, on Northwest 173rd Street, and the father Menachem Mendel Tauber, 42, claimed that he had forgotten the three-year-old was in the car, said Miami Gardens Police.
Detective Diana Delgado-Gourgue said that a report had been made “in reference to an unresponsive juvenile, inside of a vehicle.”
She continued: “Miami-Dade Fire Rescue transported the victim to a local hospital, where the juvenile was pronounced deceased by doctors.”
Temperatures on Monday afternoon were around 35C but with humidity included it could have felt as high as 38C.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner has now said that the child’s temperature was fatally high and the death has been ruled as “accidental”.
The ME’s office said it had come to this conclusion after an examination of the boy, speaking to police and looking at the “history and circumstances” of the child’s family, reported the Miami Herald.
“The cause of death was accidental hyperthermia due to being inside an enclosed vehicle,” reportedly said Veronica Melton-Lamar, records coordinator at the ME’s office, with hyperthermia the medical term used for when a body overheats.
Shalom was one of nine children, and the father, Menachem, is a Rabbi and teacher at the Lubavitch Educational Center.
It is unclear still whether the parents could face police charges over the tragedy.
"This tragedy hits close to home, and many in our school community have been affected by it," Rabbi Benzion Korf, dean of the Lubavitch Educational Center, said in a statement. "No words can capture the heartbreak and sadness we feel."
Counselling help is being offered to staff and students where "support as needed," according to Rabbi Korf.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the family at this time of great loss," the rabbi added.