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Blog News & Updates

Mar 11, 2015

The Hidden Dangers That Lurk Beneath Mascot Costumes

Posted by Desmond Mayne
Mascots play an important role in the world of entertainment and sports. They are powerful branding icons which help people remember a company's ethos. Many of us have an emotional connection with these characters; they may remind us of our youth, or we may associate them with our favourite storybook character or sports team. Underneath all the acrobatics and waving therein lies a human. We tend to forget that, as we get lost and lured into a fun fantasy masked of a job well down, by the person hidden below the getup. 
Imagine a day in the life of a mascot. If working in an amusement park, one must work an eight hour shift roaming the park, stopping for pictures, signing autographs and perform duties such as dancing and participating in parades and shows. The costume becomes hot and stuffy. In addition to the various activities in this entertainment role, the costume weighs between 15-30 lbs. Common injuries include, neck, shoulder, back, bruises, skin rashes, heat exhaustion, exposure to viral infections and fungal infections and possible death.  
The following are major concerns of a mascot wearers and alternatives: 
1. Must Be Aware of Wet Costumes
Mascot wearers need to take caution with wet costumes. Since diseases are easily transmitted through bodily fluids. Mascots are even susceptible to MRSA (infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria). The wearer must ensure the costume is completely dry prior to putting it on. 
Solution: Dry mascot outfits immediately after each use. Williams Direct Dryers helps reduce the risk of infectious diseases. Our DirectDrying(TM) Technology helps eliminate microbial loads by 99%. Williams Direct Dryers have been proven to help eliminate the risk of diseases and fungal infections caused by wet or just damp apparel (based on an independent study through Akron's Children's Hospital)
2. Will Fabric Refreshers Like Febreeze Help Reduce Risk?
Fabric Refreshers are just that - they refresh fabrics. Febreeze states on their website that their product will mask smells but falls short of saying will kill disease causing bacteria or lingering fungi. The goal should be eliminating the problem and not concealing it. Germs/bacteria are still present (if not dormant) within the costume's crevices awaiting their next victim. 
Solution: Elimination is key. Williams Dryers helps remove foul odors and bacterial/fungal loads through forced air flow at regulated temperatures. With continuous use of DirectDrying™ Technology you can be well rest assured, your mascot outfit is odor free.  
3. Chemical Sprays
If a costume is sprayed down with chemicals, the costume needs to be aired out completely. The wearer is exposed to asphyxiation if worn right after a chemical spray. 
Best Alternative: WDD DirectDrying™ Technology sanitizes garments without the use of chemicals. Chemical-laden costumes affects the health of the wearer in the long term. In addition, your garment is is safe to use without the worry of skin irritants caused by chemical sprays. 
Williams Direct Dryers can help resolve the concerns of mascot wearers when it comes down to wet costumes. We believe health safety is important for all workers crossing multiple industries from mining and to cast members. Our dryers help reduce the risk of exposure to disease charged bacteria. If you have any questions about our dryers for mascot costumes or dryers for theatrical costumes, call us toll-free anywhere in North America at 1-866-534-4696. We create solutions for your drying needs, no matter how challenging.
References
1. Mascot Safety: Keeping Your Mascot in the Game. Retrieved from http://www.covwc.com/templates/System/details.asp?id=48008& PG=resources&CID=30658
2. Becoming a Disney Mascot Retrieved from http://www.kidzworld.com/article/20231-becoming-a-disney-mascot
3. Costumes 101. Retrieved from <a>Welcome to MascotNet!</a>