Elementary student wearing N95 mask outdoors passed out in extreme heat, parents say

A parent told FOX 11 that an elementary school student in Beverly Hills who was forced to wear an N95 mask outdoors in extreme heat passed out due to dehydration.

10-year-old Liraz Baradarian was playing on the field when she collapsed.

"I passed out and I didn’t have any water and they wouldn’t give me any water," Liraz told FOX 11.  "They come and say ‘put your mask on’ but I need a breath," the 4th grader explained. 

Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy and Hawthrone Elementary School Principal Sarah Kaber sent out a memo to parents Wednesday night stating that there was a medical incident early that day at Hawthorne Elementary.

The school officials said they were unable to disclose private information, but added that they wanted to "address the speculation about the heat, outdoor making lunchtime sports, and the impact these factors may have played in the incident."

"We cannot assume causation between masks and the incident and have no evidence to suggest any correlation at this time," the memo reads.

"Not being hydrated and wearing a mask can definitely make you more prone to developing exhaustion and heat exhaustion," said Thomas Yadegar, MD at Providence Cedar Sinai Tarzana.

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Coincidentally, the 4th grader’s collapse comes a day after the Beverly Hills Board of Education heard from parents rallying against masks... especially outside.

Hawthorne Elementary School and the BHUSD will continue to investigate circumstances that contributed to the incident.

Currently, the state of California requires all K-12 students and staff to wear masks indoors. And Los Angeles County also requires wearing masks outdoors on campus.

California is currently experiencing unseasonably warm weather. With temperatures predicted to be far above normal in much of Southern California, the National Weather Service upgraded a heat watch to a heat advisory lasting from late Wednesday morning through Sunday.

The heat watch and advisory were the first to be issued by the Los Angeles region weather office in the month of February, according to records dating to 2006.

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