Summer after summer, you hear the same message from local law enforcement agencies: “Look Before You Lock.” The whole purpose of that campaign is to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses caused by people and pets being left behind in hot cars. 

Billy Jenkins, TSM
Billy Jenkins, TSM

For many, it’s hard to imagine leaving behind someone so precious to us in the backseat of a car but distractions happen. Long lines inside stores happen. And you may think that because the air temperature outside isn’t particularly oppressive, your kids and pets will be ok inside the vehicle for “just a few minutes.” The Boise Police Department explains that’s a dangerous assumption. On their “Look Before You Lock” campaign page, they reveal that even if it’s a comfortable 75º outside, the interior of a car can reach 94º inside in 10 minutes and 109º in 30. 

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But again. We’re re-hashing the same message you hear year after year. This article is to give you a heads-up that there are at least 11 other things that you don’t want to leave behind in your vehicle on a scorching Idaho summer day. Thanks to Idaho Power, at least one of these should sound familiar. It’s a fire hazard that we’ve shared with you almost every summer since 2017.

The other items? Well, they may also be fire, burn, digestive or injury hazards if exposed to high temperatures for a little too long. Many of these are everyday items that you would expect to find in a vehicle during the summer. We had at least three of them in our vehicle before writing this list. Those were all promptly removed!

11 Things You Should Never Leave in Your Car on a Hot Idaho Day

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Highly Toxic Plants You Should Definitely Try to Avoid in Idaho

According to a pamphlet from the United States Forest Service there are more than 20 poisonous plants in Idaho. These are some of the nastiest ones around.

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