5 things you should never keep in your car

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Have you noticed how our cars can become storage areas for clothes, sports equipment and even snacks? It’s fine to keep many things in your car, but some things are likely to cause problems if left in a vehicle.

1. Medicines
Prepare for unexpected consequences if you leave medicines in the glove compartment of your car. According to the National Institutes of Health, medicines in the glove compartment are exposed to heat, cold and moisture that can damage the effectiveness of drugs. Many medicines need to be stored at room temperature, and parked cars rarely remain at that point during summer and winter.

2. Sunscreen
It’s important to use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but it’s unwise to take along sunscreen when you travel and leave it in a hot car. 

That’s because the effectiveness of sunscreen products can be diminished by exposure to heat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the shelf life of sunscreen decreases if it has been subjected to high temperatures.

3. Groceries in the trunk
When the temperature heats up, it’s important to think about how you will transport your groceries home from the supermarket. It’s best to get home as soon as possible and avoid putting food in your trunk.

In hot weather, bacteria can multiply quickly at high temperatures, when groceries are placed in the truck according to the FDA. It’s safer to put food in the air-conditioned passenger compartment.

4. Aerosol cans
Aerosol cans, containing spray paint, sunblock or deodorant, should not be kept in your car.

Road & Travel Magazine reports that most aerosols are meant to be stored at cooler temperatures. During summer months, when outside air temperatures rise above 90 degrees, temperatures inside cars can exceed 130 degrees, creating the possibility of an explosion. Don’t store aerosol cans in places where the temperatures cannot be controlled. 

5. Pets
Leaving a pet alone in a parked car while you run errands can endanger the animal’s health. For example, when the outside temperature is 78 degrees, temperatures inside a parked car can rise to 100 degrees in a few minutes. On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a car can hit 109 degrees in under 10 minutes exposing an animal to heat exposure or even heat stroke in as little as 15 minutes. 

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