Warning for parents: Kids and hot cars - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Warning for parents: Kids and hot cars

It happens every summer, a child dies after being left in a hot car and one local family knows about this tragedy all too well.

Tyler Costello was 9 months old when he died in the back seat of his father's car.

Dad forgot to drop him off at daycare and drove to work.

"When a co-worker came in a said he saw my son in the back seat of my car. And I said no way, he's at daycare, miles away from here," said Todd Costello.

But Tyler was in the car, strapped in his car seat. Three hours had passed and it was 140 degrees inside the car. Tyler was rushed to the hospital but it was too late.

"I just sat there and held him until Todd got there and said his final goodbyes," said Melody Costello.

Nine years after their son's death, Melody and Todd Costello are still together, working to make sure other families don't suffer the same fate.

People need to realize that it's always dangerous to leave a child in a car. An infant can die of hyperthermia in as little as 15 minutes on a 75 degree day.

Dr. Anthony Deross says it can happen when busy parents go on auto-pilot, break their routines, and forget their child is in the back seat.

"No time is safe, it can happen quickly," said Dr. Anthony Deross.

This is what Todd Costello does to remind himself.

"My briefcase, lunch, coffee cup, papers, go into the back seat so when I get out, I physically have to get into the back seat," said Todd Costello.

Melody and Todd, who now have two daughters, are still working through their pain. They hope other families never suffer the same experience.

Last year, 49 children died inside hot cars.

Most were temporarily forgotten by a parent. Others either hid, or went to play inside unattended vehicles. It's a reminder to us all.   

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