Mascot Safety Tips
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Ensuring the safety of a mascot performer is of the utmost importance. Whether attending a meet-and-greet or performing for a crowd at a sporting event, there are certain practices and precautions that should be observed.

Escorts/Handlers

In a meet-and-greet situation, mascot escorts should always be present as the eyes, ears and voice of the mascot performer. This person should be alert and always be paying attention to the people approaching. An escort should be wearing an official company/event t-shirt or uniform to clearly establish their role with the mascot. The escort is responsible for making sure that the mascot sees everyone that needs a hug and a picture, as well as crowd control.

Sign Language

Make sure that the mascot and the escort have some hand signals to indicate that they need to exit. Something as simple as a thumb down can tell the escort that something is wrong and they need to get to a secured area.

Schedule/Breaks

Breaks and appearance times should be established before every performance according to the needs of the event and environmental conditions. This is an important part of mascot safety, given that the suits are inherently quite hot. In most meet-and-greet situations a mascot is not in the costume for more than 30 minutes before having a break of equal time. During breaks, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. In colder temperatures this can be increased and hotter temperatures this can be decreased but this is a good general rule of thumb.

Practice

Everyone performing in a mascot should give it a “test drive” before the big show. It’s a good idea to start slow and build up to wearing the whole suit. Walk around with just the head at first and get used to the vision. Then add the hands and feet before getting into the entire suit. This will help the performer to be more aware of the mascot’s boundaries.

Not A Good Fit

Remember that not everyone is suited to be a mascot. Above all else, a performer’s comfort is the most essential part of mascot safety. After practicing and taking some time to get used to the vision and feel of a mascot costume, if a performer is still very apprehensive about being out in public then find someone else. The last thing you want representing your company, festival, or school is someone that really isn’t happy, comfortable or safe.


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