Mascots are loved by most people. They make events fun and more enjoyable for adults and children enjoy spending time and joking around with them. However, those on the outside looking in are most times unaware of what a mascot endures to do their job.
While safety precautions such as having a guide to make sure the mascot does not get hurt and taking many breaks are often recommended, there are certain characteristics that a mascot costume should have to ensure the person wearing it is safe at all times.
1. Line of sight
Before attending the event for which you will be the mascot for, you may have arranged to have an escort to guide you around. This is very smart as your guide can make sure you stay away from places that could pose a serious danger to you such as fire or water.
You will probably be able to hear the guide if he/she tries to warn you about potential threats, but some costumes are hard to hear from. Therefore you also need to be able to see your escort in case he/she needs to use hand signals to warn you about dangers around you.
Before getting too comfortable in the mascot costume, confirm that you have a good line of sight in it, including peripheral vision. Being able to see will not only ensure you can do your job and put on a good show for others, it is crucial in keeping you safe and allowing you to avoid injury and, in extreme cases, death.
2. Acceptable weight
You put the mascot costume on and it feels light and comfortable. However, you may be failing to take into account that you will be wearing this outfit for a few hours and it can start feeling heavy and burdensome in no time at all.
It is estimated that a typical mascot costume should weigh between 15 and 30 lbs. Before assuming your responsibilities, try to confirm that the outfit is within this range by checking for a tag on it. If it is heavier than 30 lbs., you may want to go with a different costume or refusing the job altogether. A costume too heavy may result in leg, shoulder, and back injuries for you and in an emergency, you may not be able to escape very fast.
3. Cooling components
Even in the coolest environments a mascot costume can become overwhelmingly hot. Not only will this be incredibly uncomfortable for you, you risk getting hyperthermia which is definitely life-threatening.
To keep yourself cool, make sure that you wear loose, breathable clothing at the very least. Some mascot costumes come equipped with fans and cooling vests. If these are options that accompany the costume you are required to wear, consider utilizing them. In addition, drink lots of water and take plenty of breaks to ensure you are hydrated and keeping as cool as possible.
When someone wears a mascot costume, they are bound to get hot and this leads to perspiration. This then leads to bacteria and mold and it will make you ill if you come into contact with it.
If the costume you are wearing is yours and you wear it regularly, take the time to air it out in between occasions and wash it as needed. If you are renting the costume and you notice mold or a bad odour emanating from it, do not put it on and contact the rental company or manufacturer and express your concerns. The people that you are entertaining would not appreciate a costume that smells.