With much of the country experiencing dangerously cold temperatures this week, it appears some special precautions are in order. Here are a few items that you'll want to make sure don't get left out in the cold.
While these stick to only inanimate objects, you should also take special care to never leave pets or children in a freezing vehicle as well.
Most medications have storage temperature recommendations of 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit listed on the packaging. That means unless your car is parked in a temperature-controlled garage at all times, it's best to not store medication in your vehicle any time of the year.
Smartphones and other devices
Most batteries don't work as well in cold temperatures, but you might notice it most in your smartphone. It's common for phones (or tablets, laptops or other devices) to slow down or shut off entirely if exposed to extremely chilly weather.
Apple recommends using your phone only when temperatures are between 32 and 95 degrees (F) and storing devices at temperatures between -4 and 113 (F). If you do happen to leave your phone in the cold or simply use it outside and experience battery failure, it's likely temporary. Batteries should return to normal when brought back to an acceptable temperature. The same in not true, however, for extremely warm temps. Heat damage to batteries can be permanent.
While you don't need to automatically throw away an accidentally frozen canned good, the USDA recommends taking some precautions before eating the item in question. If the can appears swollen, try thawing it in the refrigerator before opening it. This applies only if you're absolutely sure the swelling is because of the cold. If the can swells for other reasons, toss it. If everything — color, texture, smell — appears normal, you're probably in the clear. If anything seems off, get rid of it. And if the seams on the can appear to have rusted or burst, don't risk it.
Eggs that are still in their shells shouldn't be frozen. If you accidentally froze some eggs and the shells burst, the USDA suggests you throw them out. If the shells didn't crack, you can thaw them in the refrigerator for later use. Just be warned, the texture will likely be off.
Beer, wine and soda
The best case scenario here is that you have a slightly swollen can of beer or soda. However, you could also end up with a car full of frozen slush — or 38 stitches like one boy in China in 2012.
Another outcome is that you have beer, wine or soda (or any carbonated beverage) that doesn't taste very good. Some online threads offer advice on re-fizzing your flat and frozen soda, but it's often a lost cause or just not worth the effort.
When beer becomes frozen, it's still drinkable once thawed. However, the flavor will be different — "more boozy," according to a Q&A from The Morning Call.
Wine will do pretty much the same thing. While it's safe to drink, the wine will taste like "a dumbed-down version" of itself, according to Vine Pair.