What to Not Leave In a Hot Car

by kwestfall - July 17, 2020
Front view of parked car with a sun shield on the windshield

How hot does a car get in the sun? Most drivers have no clue. But we all know the dangers of sitting in a hot car. Besides the general discomfort, people suffer heat-related illnesses. Heatstroke, a dangerous and potentially fatal heat-related illness, can occur inside a hot vehicle quickly. In 2016, there were 39 heatstroke deaths of children left in cars in the United States. Most hot car deaths are linked to heatstroke.

On a hot summer day, the inside temperature of a car can be up to thirty degrees Celsius hotter than the outside temperature. Common sense demands that as we can’t stand hot car temperature, we should never leave other humans (especially babies and the elderly) in parked cars. What other things are we not expected to leave in a hot car? We will briefly discuss the most important ones to help you and your loved ones stay safe and keep your valuables safe too.

People and Pets 

First things first, humans should never be left in a parked car, even if there is little chance of overheating. Babies and the elderly are most susceptible to this potential hazard. You should also never leave your pets inside a parked car. No living thing should be left inside a parked car: that is the first rule in hot car death prevention.


If you check the labels of most medications, you will find out that they’re intended to be stored in a cool, dry place. It would be best if you didn’t take the chance of leaving them in a hot car. Excessive temperature can easily compromise your medications.

Food and Drinks 

You also shouldn’t leave your food and drink in a parked hot car. Food can quickly go bad when it is subjected to extreme heat. Candy bars and ice creams are just the most prominent examples. All kinds of food can go bad. Drinks too can be damaged when left in a hot car. Take all provisions out of vehicles while stepping out.

Batteries and Electronics 

Battery manufacturers warn against exposing them to severe heat. Your car temperature can get hot and lead to an explosion. It is also not advisable to leave any electronics in your car. Besides the ones that are made explicitly for motor vehicles, electronics can easily be damaged inside a parked car.

Plastic Bottles 

Plastic water bottles and food containers that are exposed to the sort of extreme heat in packed vehicles leach all kinds of potentially harmful substances into their content, and these can severely affect your health.


In extreme temperatures, lighters will explode. You can never tell how hot your parked car can get in the summer, so you shouldn’t take the chance.


You need your sunscreen handy during summer. Understandably, you will want to keep it with you often, but do not leave it in your car. When they are exposed to excessive heat, the shelf life of sunscreens will be shortened.


Plants are living things too. They will also die when exposed to excessive heat. Do not leave plants in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Younger plants are way more delicate. Even while transporting them in a vehicle, try to keep the temperature cool.


The heat from your hot car can distort the frames of your glasses and damage the fit and function. Extreme temperature can even warp the lenses.


It is understandable that you will want to keep your cosmetics handy, but you should never leave them in a parked car. In addition to destroying their active ingredients, extreme temperatures can even melt cosmetics and leave you a big mess to clean up.

Your car can serve several purposes, but it is not the right place to store things. Hot cars can lead to several ugly situations that are avoidable. The items discussed here should never be left in a packed hot vehicle.

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