Say NO to the summer emergency car kit

Car Emergency Kit | Summer Road Trip

Okay, I’m going to get real today and some of y’all might not like it.  I want us all to protect our kids and ourselves to the best of our ability.  No,  I don’t want you to have to go completely out of your way to buy fancy, expensive products or spend all day at the store deciphering labels.  I DO want you to be able to enjoy your time with your kids and not worry about every little thing.

If you read my post on safe sunscreen you should also scroll to the bottom and read some of the comments.  Some people were downright upset because they thought I was being judgy or asking them to go above and beyond to protect their kids.  If that is the vibe you got from that article I apologize because that was so NOT my intent.

I only meant for it to be informative.  To give moms a heads up on an item that they probably assumed was safe but isn’t.  I wasn’t suggesting that you start buying $50 specialty bottles instead of the $15 bottles you can get at your local store.  I also wasn’t suggesting that you go without sunscreen.

I just wanted you to know that there are safe and unsafe products right next to each other on the shelf.  Just be informed.  Make the best decision when you can.  If it comes to a more toxic sunscreen over no sunscreen use whatever you have on hand.

My intent with this blog is to make things easier for us, not harder.  Having safer, less toxic products and chemicals in our homes is obtainable.  We just have to educate ourselves and make the best choices.

Grace tip – You are allowed to give yourself a break, you aren’t super mom… however claiming ignorance is not a solution.


Okay rant over.  Lets move on to the next “Please stop doing this because it’s all kinds of wrong issue” she said in her sarcastic voice.


Summer emergency kits for your car.

Sounds great in theory.  However some of these products that you are keeping in your 120 degree car for days on end are not meant to be stored at those temperatures.  The chemicals in these products can break down, either changing their makeup or making them less effective.

I basically sorted through a bunch of emergency kits for your car lists on Pinterest on what other moms suggested you should include.  My concern is mainly about liquids.  I double checked with manufactures on shelf life and storage instructions and here is what I found out.

Hand sanitizer

I emailed Purell and they actually sent me a very nice email and a formal document with their specifications.  The email states that they cannot guarantee the products effectiveness outside of the recommended storage temperatures.  The document states that the product has been tested and is still stable at temperatures up to 140 degrees.

The shelf life on this product is three years

Verdict – It’s probably okay!

Summer Emergency Kit | Car Organization | Emergency Kit for the car
Little E Summer 2016

Baby wipes

I  emailed Pampers and they said the shelf life of their product is 30 months.  However once it is opened and not stored under the appropriate conditions they cannot guarantee how long it will last.

Verdict – Okay as long as they are unopened.  My only concern is heated up, opened wipes.  My kids already have super sensitive skin and I would hate for the heat to mess up the components in the wipes and cause some sort of reaction.

Dont store suncreen in your car | Dont store Bug spray in your car


I am basing this on various things that I have read.  Basically exposing the chemicals in sunscreen to extreme heat can cause them to become ineffective.  The label on my HONEST sunscreen states to protect the product from extreme heat and direct sunlight.

Verdict – Don’t keep this in your car.  Keep an emergency bottle in your purse or diaper bag.  IF it is a last resort and its hot sunscreen or nothing go ahead and use the hot, probably less effective sunscreen BUT keep a close watch on your skin!!

Emergency car kit | Car Organization | Summer Car Organization

Bug spray

I checked on OFFs website and both the aerosol and the spray bottle both say you should keep away from heat.  The aerosol bottle also states that it is under pressure and temps above 120 could cause it to burst.  Yikes!

Verdict – I’m assuming this product simply becomes less effective once exposed to heat.  So again I would only use this as a last resort.  PLEASE do not leave an aerosol can in your car!! Dangerous!

Neosporin & Tylenol

States that it should be stored at room temperature and not in excessive heat.

Verdict- Use your own judgement.  I don’t foresee myself going anywhere with my children where I would be in dire need of Neosporin or Tylenol where I couldn’t just pop into a drug store and grab some.

Emergency Car Kit | Car Organization


So while it doesn’t seem like keeping any of the above items in your car is going to kill you, except maybe bug spray in an aerosol can, I still don’t think that keeping these items in your car is the best idea.


Why not make a mini bag with sample sizes of these items and throw it in your purse or diaper bag?  Something that’s not going to be baking in the sun while you run into Target or dance practice.  If it’s an “emergency kit” it’s not like you are going to need full-sized bottles anyways.

What do you think?

Do you have an emergency kit in your car?





  • Charity June 23, 2017 at 3:23 am

    That was quite useful. I’d honestly wondered about a lot of these products, particularly hand sanitizer. I already kept a tiny sunblock in my purse, so it sounds like I made the right call there. Thanks for your thoughtful post.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      I would have thought hand sanitizer would have been one of those products that couldn’t withstand heat too.

  • Vanessa June 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I never would have thought about not leaving my sunscreen in the car…

    • TheGracefulOlive June 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      I actually read that when you are at the beach or pool or wherever you should put your sunscreen in your cooler so it doesn’t get too hot.

  • Nicolle June 23, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Excellent tips! So many things should not be stored in the car, as they have specific storage requirements. I know people that keep essential oils in their emergency car kit, and that’s such a horrible idea in hot weather, as the oils become oxidized, and then will just do more harm then good. I usually keep sunscreen and hand sanitizer in the diaper bag, and we use cloth wipes, so we are good there!

    • TheGracefulOlive June 25, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      We went on a hike with my parents this morning. Were out for maybe two hours, applied sunscreen that my mom brought. It was spf 50 and the trail was pretty shaded but I still got a little burnt. We went to the pool this afternoon for maybe an hour. I applied the sunscreen again and got even more pink. We were talking about it at dinner as I shouldn’t have gotten that much sun and we realized that she has been keeping it in her garage which gets pretty hot! So the sunscreen has for sure lost its potency!

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    About Zhade

    About Zhade

    Hi Mama

    I’m wife to my high school sweetheart, and mama to three little girls: Everleigh, Magnolia & Juniper. I LOVE motherhood, holidays and hot chocolate. I crave efficiency and NEED to figure out the easiest and best way to do EVERYTHING. Life is short & I refuse to waste it on being boring.


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