That unattended children and pets must never be left in the car, even if you’re popping into the store ‘just for a minute’ goes without saying, but it’s good to remember that even besides this your car is a transport vehicle, not a storage bin, and leaving some things inside could pose serious safety and health hazards.

1. Medicines. A parked car rarely stays cool, even if it’s in the shade. In fact, in the Pakistani summers, your vehicle is actually sizzling by the time you get back to it. If you’ve been reading labels on medicines, you’re probably aware that they’re required to be kept at room temperature. Meds left inside a hot car, even if they’re not rendered directly harmful, certainly lose their potency and become less effective.

2. Spectacles and sunglasses. Ever made a fire with sunlight and a magnifying glass? That’s the risk you’re inviting when you leave your specs on the dashboard of your car. It’s best to put them inside the glove compartment. On the seat, too, exposure to heat can warp the plastic and metal frames, ruining the way they fit on your face.

3. Gadgets. Cellphone, hard drive, laptop and tablet can all be easily damaged by heat, especially the cameras in them. Leaving them inside a hot car is not a cool idea. In case of theft, there’s also the risk of losing precious confidential, personal information.

4. Sunscreen. Many of us prefer to leave a bottle or tube of sunscreen ‘handy’ in the car because we tend to forget slathering it on before we leave the house, but doing so actually renders the protection useless, because the chemicals in the lotion break down in intense heat, and will do nothing for your skin except make it oily once that happens.

5. Water bottles. The big ‘No-No’ and the most common practice is to leave water bottles inside the car. Studies have linked heart disease and cancer to chemicals that go in the making of plastic bottles. Heat can make these chemicals leak into the water and make their way into your body, posing a serious health hazard.