NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - We all know that you shouldn’t leave your kids or pets in a car unattended, but there are other items you might leave behind that can end up costing you in the long run. Sweltering afternoons, like we’ve been seeing for the past few days, cause your car to heat up like an oven and this doesn’t bode well for a lot of items you may have in your vehicle.
Either over the counter meds, like aspirin or your prescription medicine, cannot be stored in extreme heat.
Here’s the reason: these drugs are formulated at room temperature, so when left in the heat, the chemicals break down and they don’t work as well, or at all. As one pharmacist told me, “After prolonged exposure to heat, you’re essentially taking a sugar pill. It’s not going to do anything for you.”
Now here’s one that can be toxic for your health.
Plastic water bottles
While convenient for quenching your thirst on the go, avoid drinking from plastic water bottles after they’ve been in the sun. In high heat, the bottle can release small amounts of BPA, which some experts say may trigger health risks if exposed at high levels. The best way to avoid this is to buy a BPA-free reusable bottle or a glass container.
Don’t want to waste the water in that hot bottle? Use it to water your plants, an alternative that is both safe and green.
Those electronic devices
While the heat won’t cause a mess with these, it will cause a mess for your pocketbook. Repeated exposure to intense heat significantly cuts the lifespans of devices like cell phones and GPS units. Over the long term, this means you’ll have to replace them a lot more often than if you take it out of the car.
We’re going to wrap this up with a little irony. Sunscreen should never be left in extreme heat. Like medicines, sunscreen is manufactured and formulated to be stored at room temperatures. In high heat, the ultraviolet absorbing chemicals like oxybenzone weaken, meaning that SPF 15 is actually much lower, or actually no protection at all.
The easiest thing to do? Just take it with you. Taking a few extra steps as you park will save you both time and money in the long run.