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What not to leave in your car this summer

Summer can be a wonderful time for road trips and spending time in the car, but not everything belongs in a hot car.
People, especially children, should not sit in parked cars, even in the shade.
Since January, the RACV and Ambulance Victoria have been called out to more than 1000 cases of children and animals locked in cars.
Ambulance Victoria group manager Brett Drummond said leaving children in a car can be deadly.
“Babies and young children can’t regulate their body temperature like adults can, so being left in a hot car can quickly become life threatening,” he said.

Tests show that in one minute a car’s temperature can soar from an air-conditioned 19C to 30C, and in another seven minutes can reach 40C.

RACV manager road user behavior Melinda Congiu said parents may think it is okay to leave a child in a car while running a short errand, but are creating a dangerous situation.

“Don’t risk your child’s life, make other safe arrangements for your children or take them out of the car with you,” she said.

Pets, like children, are at high risk of heatstroke, serious injury, and even death if left in a hot car.

Dogs pant to cool themselves and if the air around them is too hot, they are unable to regulate their body temperature, which can lead to severe injuries.

Living things aren't the only things that can suffer from being in a hot vehicle, items such as electronics, sunglasses, fruit, cans, chocolate, lipstick, lip balm, batteries and medication (pictured) can be damaged.

RoyalAuto has compiled a list of items that should never be left in a hot car:
  • Medication should never be stored in a hot car
  • Sunscreen can explode and will lose effectiveness if left in a hot car
  • Glasses and sunglasses can be warped by heat and can cause burns
  • Contact lenses should not be left in a car either
  • Fruit and vegetables will spoil quicker if left in a car
  • Chocolate will quickly liquefy in a hot car
  • Milk has the potential to explode, leaving a lasting stench
  • Wine bottles with corks can pop in the heat
  • Cans of drink can explode and will stain car interiors
  • Deodorant and aerosol cans have the potential to explode
  • Plastics can melt and meld with parts of cars
  • Credit cards can be warped or have their magnet strip damaged in the heat
  • Lighters can build up pressure and explode
  • Electronics such as cameras, GPS unit and phones can be damaged
  • USB sticks and memory cards can also be damaged
  • Batteries can leak in hot cars, getting acid everywhere
  • CDs have the potential to warp or melt in a hot car
  • Photos can fade, melt, or lose their colour
  • Makeup will change composition in the heat
  • Perfume can change its smell, and could evaporate
  • Crayons can melt and stick to interior surfaces in the heat
  • Candles, like crayons, can melt and stick to interior surfaces
  • Wet swimwear or wetsuits can grow bacteria in a hot car, especially in a towel
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