Heat wave in effect for Santa Clarita Valley

Jackson Nathan, 16, of Castaic runs through the sprinklers to cool off at Central Park in Saugus on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Santa Clarita Valley is under a heat wave advisory until Thursday night, leaving some in need for relief from the dangerously high temperatures.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature will hover around the mid- to upper-90s throughout the week during the day, creating risk for vulnerable populations, such as the old and the young.

“You can be exposed to heat exhaustion and heatstroke,” said Dr. Darrin Privett, an emergency medicine physician at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. “Those are the two main things that we worry about when the heat wave comes in.”

At Henry Mayo, Privett said, on average four to eight people arrive in the emergency room each day during a heat wave due to one of these conditions. Their symptoms include lightheadedness, dizziness and nausea, which can sometimes lead to more severe symptoms.

Glenn Davis comes to Central Park in Saugus most every day to read in the shade as he did on on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Privett said the best way for people to avoid these conditions is to try and remove themselves from the heat by finding a shaded or air conditioned environment. People should also be hydrating themselves as extreme temperatures result in sweating.

“Another thing you can do is make sure you drink something that has electrolytes in it, because when you’re sweating you’re losing sodium,” said Privett. “Sometimes, if we get too much water, we become diluted and we don’t replace the electrolytes that we lose.”

If there is no air conditioning readily available, there are alternative solutions to help protect yourself.

“Get a towel and wet it in cold water and put it on the nape of your neck. That’ll cool you off, as well,” said Privett. “Wear clothes that are breathable so that you can cool yourself off.”

Privett also suggested using a portable fan or spray bottle to use condensation to cool yourself off.

A Santa Clarita family cools off in their back yard pool. Dan Watson/The Signal

During heat waves, Los Angeles County and the city of Santa Clarita have usually provided cooling centers in Santa Clarita, but have not done so for this latest heat wave. The cooling centers provide areas where people can publicly congregate to escape the heat in a cooled environment.

Rebecca Widdison, a management analyst at the city of Santa Clarita, said the cooling centers had not been activated due to thresholds that the city of Santa Clarita did not meet.

“The city’s Cooling Centers become activated when the Health Officer deems the Heat Index Temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and above is predicted for at least three consecutive days,” said Widdison. “The city’s Cooling Centers are normally our three libraries, but locations may be changed during this pandemic in order to follow social distancing guidelines.”

The heat wave is expected to end Thursday night at 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

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