BOISE -- A warning for parents from the sheriff s department and doctors after a 15-year-old boy made a fatal combination, by huffing freon then swimming with a friend in a neighborhood pond.
Cody Liedle got the freon from an air conditioning unit near his home in Star.
In the wake of this tragedy, we are now learning more about how to safeguard an air conditioner.
You might not think of an air conditioner as a hazard to your teens, but it can be, along with a lot of other items that may not have crossed your mind.
Unfortunately these substances are so available. It can be anything, said Dr. Ben Cornett.
Dr. Ben Cornett works in the emergency room at St. Alphonsus. He says they see more abuse beyond freon.
It can be hair spray, it can be paint thinner, freon. It can basically be anything that you can get your hands on, can pour in a bag and then breathe in and out of, said Cornett.
Cornett says these substances affect the brain, cuts off oxygen and can even cause heart attacks. With those types of consequences, he warns parents to be vigilant and cautious around the house.
I mean the obvious things, if you're missing a bottle of turpentine or you're missing some household substances that you normally would keep under lock and key, which I would highly recommend. I mean just the same as a two-year-old, you don't want them getting into these things accidentally, you don't want an adolescent to get into these purposefully, so monitoring what substances you do keep in the house and making sure that they're being properly monitored, said Cornett.
Liedle's death brought to light another form of substance abuse - huffing freon from air conditioning units.
I think more, the kids knew about it three weeks ago, than the parents did. It was an education process for everybody over the last couple of years, and it was the air conditioning guys knew about it, so we would educate our homeowners if that was going to be the case, said Tyson Garten.
Tyson Garten with A1 Heating and Air Conditioning says keeping your unit safe is easy. You can buy locks to put on the valves.
Some units have the valves on the outside, but newer units have the valves on the inside of the panels - adding to the difficulty of gaining access.
If you're interested in buying one of the locks, contact an air conditioning technician.
The Ada County Sheriff's Office recognizes that there are several neighborhoods where many homes sit empty.
They ask that if you see anyone tampering with air conditioner units in your neighborhood to call 911.