Watching out for heat hazards inside your car - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Watching out for heat hazards inside your car

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It's one of mother nature's deadly forces, but even if you're out of the heat, it still has ways of posing a threat to your health. Even small, less thought of items inside your car can be damaged by the sun and be dangerous to your health.

Think of your car as a "portable oven".  If it's 90 degrees outside and you leave your car for about 20 minutes, a quick run inside the grocery store, when you come back, it's already about 20 degrees hotter inside your car. Heat that's hard on electronics or digital discs.

"You might not actually be able to see anything on your screen for a few minutes after it's out in the sun," said Taylor Huey with the Best Buy Geek Squad. "It [heat] can actually melt discs and if it distorts that data surface at all then they're basically ruined."

But the heat is even harder on medications left in your car.

"It compromises the strength of them whether it's a tablet, whether it's a liquid," explained Dr. Kandice Ballman, registered pharmacist for United Pharmacies.

The damage isn't limited to prescription drugs either. Simple asthma inhalers or even over the counter medications are just as susceptible to damage from the sun.

"The Tylenol that they leave in that glove box year round, the strength is probably completely compromised," said Dr. Ballman. "Completely gone."

Rendering many medications useless or worse, dangerous.

"Those can actually not be good medications or safe medications," said Ballman. "It can actually break them down into harmful form."

Even plastic water bottles can become a health hazard if left in your car. Some studies have shown that chemicals leak from the plastic into the water if it gets left in the heat.