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A jolly old fellow who sees thousands of Calgary children each holiday season is taking precautions against swine flu.
Jerry Weeks will visit with as many as 20,000 children over the next six weeks at Santa's Playland in Market Mall.
Weeks, who has represented Santa for 20 years, said he won't be taking any extra precautions this year, but he is aware of the risk of catching and spreading H1N1.
"I am very conscientious every year about health and germs because of how many kids I do see," he said.
"I wear gloves and that's part of the costume but it also … creates a barrier between the kids and I. I have a very big supply of gloves in my dressing room … The beard gets washed every day. We have to make sure that Santa stays healthy too."
"Typically elves hand out candy canes, but our elves have been helping with the hand sanitizing," she said.
Originally posted by grey580
My wifes niece picks at her butt and smells her fingers.
Along with her nose.
If I was going to be a santa and see about 20k kids this holiday season. I'd be asking for a bio suit and hazard pay. lol.
A U.S.-based group representing people who portray Santa Claus during the Christmas season wants its members to be designated a priority group to receive the swine flu vaccine.
Over the next few weeks, Father Christmases will come into contact with thousands of children at shopping malls and Santa Claus parades.
The Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, a fraternal organization that provides training and resources for people who work or volunteer as Santa Clauses, said the health of its roughly 700 members is a real concern.