So a company, sports team, or school has chosen to adopt a mascot and you are the lucky one to play the part. While you are excited to put on the mascot costumes and get started at photo shoots, games, and pep rallies, it is imperative that you guarantee your safety while you are wearing the mascot costume.
Below are 4 ways to maximize your chances of being safe while playing the part but also have a good time while doing it.
1. Make sure you can see
This piece of advice is common sense but often overlooked by people wearing mascot costumes. In a mascot costume you should be able to see comfortably and everything that is going on around you. If your vision is out of the eyes of the costume, make sure you are able to see completely out of the eyes and not just the pupils as this will greatly restrict your ability to see.
If the costume is designed to see out of the mouth, confirm that you are able to comfortably and that you are able to maintain your peripheral vision. If the costume has a spot to see out of the neck-usually if the costume is taller than usually or furry-make sure this area has thin mesh or screen that will allow you a perfect line of sight for the duration of the event. This will allow you to see people, obstacles, or any incidents where you need to leave the area immediately.
2. Make sure costume is flame-resistant
While you may not anticipate being around fire while playing your part as a mascot, accidents do happen as the result of cigarettes or sparks. Also you do not want your costume to be the energy for a fire that breaks out. Before wearing your mascot costume, confirm that it is made of a fire-resistant material such as nylon or polyester. Check for a label on the costume that confirms that it is flame-resistant.
Also, making sure that your mascot costume is one material in addition to being flame-resistant. This will confirm that the whole costume is safe as opposed to some materials and will prevent other materials from fueling the flame.
3. Be cautious of temperature
Even on the coolest of days, you may become very hot when wearing your mascot costume. The temperatures you experience will depend on factors such as the costume itself, environmental conditions, and activities you will be doing. Confirm that the costume has an effective ventilation system so you can breathe and cool air is allowed to enter.
A fan system can be installed into the head portion of the costume to help keep you cool. Limit your time to no more than one hour in the costume and if it is extremely hot out, don’t be afraid to reduce it to 30 minutes. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after wearing your mascot costume to keep hydrated.
4. Wear appropriate clothes underneath
While performing your mascot duties, you want to be as comfortable as possible and as mentioned previously, the inside of a mascot costume can be hot and stuffy. Tight-fitting clothing such as jeans and collared shirts will make you feel restricted and cause perspiration due to their heavy fabrics. Wearing a comfortable pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and athletic socks will allow you a great degree of comfort while performing your duties as a mascot.
A headband or bandanna will keep sweat off of your face that you are unable to wipe off immediately. Make sure you have extra clothes to change into throughout the day as needed as well as a towel because chances are you will sweat more than usual while wearing the costume.