Leaving electronics and medication out in the cold

Published: Nov. 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM CST
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Amarillo, TX - Warming up may be the first thing on your mind this time of year, but you're not the only thing that is freezing.

Electronic devices and prescription medication are both at risk, if left in your car in the cold weather.

Devices like your laptop, iPad, iPod, smart phone, and even your external hard drive can be permanently damaged.

We spoke with Andrew Brandt at All Star Computer about what happens if these electronics are left in your car over night.

"You don't want ice crystals to form inside your computer. When those things start warming up the crystals start evaporating or melting and forming condensation inside the device. It is really hard on laptops especially moving hard drives".

Most people know not to leave medication in a car during the summer, but local pharmacists, Robin Johnson, at Kings Compounding Pharmacy, says its just as important in the winter.

"It would be rare that you would see an outside effect of a freeze thaw cycle, but you don't know what that has done to the chemical structure. Without data that says that its safe, we want to avoid freeze thaw cycle on any of our medication."

Johnson adds leaving your medication in your car could take away its potency.

If you do forget to take your medication inside with you, its best to contact your doctor or your pharmacists.

All Star Computer says there are a few things you can do if you left your electronic device over night in your car.

"One shut off the computer immediately because you don't want any other electrical current getting to those devices. Two, call a computer technician or a professional service so we can extract that hard drive out of that laptop or computer, so that we can get that data off of it before permanent damage is caused."

Both Brandt and Johnson say if you are running errands and leave either item in your car for a short period of time, it should be fine.