Have you been reading the guidelines given out by the government and all the health organizations about how to slow down the spread of the flu virus? These guidelines tell us to…

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze… and wash your hands afterward.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are already sick.
  • Avoid sharing utensils and objects, or disinfect them first.

I find it interesting that every single bit of advice on this list is just common sense and good hygiene… and things that everybody should already be doing anyway.

Not so hygienic… that disgusting suggestion of sneezing or coughing into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue handy…

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Sneezing or coughing into your elbow is what the kids are taught at school. It may be ideal for kids to wash their hands every time they sneeze or cough, but can you imagine what the class would be like? A constant flow of kids up and down to wash hands. It doesn’t mean that you blow your nose on your sleeve. This way, if you can’t wash your hands right away, at least the germs are not being transferred to everything you touch.


lol..I’ve always taught my kids to sneeze into their elbows if they don’t have a tissue. *blush* I just hate the thought of all those germs going onto little hands that go.. well, everywhere! I suppose it is rather disgusting when one thinks of it:P

And I was struck with the same thought upon reading these “precautions”… do we really need to be told these things?


I agree completely that sneezing into your elbow thing is just disgusting. I wonder what were we told to do when we were kids? I know no one ever told me to sneeze into my elbow.


My kids were told in school to sneeze into their elbows and I don’t think it’s a good piece of advice. Sick kids should be home until they’re past the contagious stage, then maybe there wouldn’t be so many kids that are sick. I know, I know, my ideas are years out of date.


What is really disgusting is the habit of boys to spit! Everywhere, any time, it doesn’t matter, they just spit. I think they see grown men spit and think it is a test of manhood or something.

Wash hands, wash hands, wash hands! It can’t be stressed enough. I tell my grandchildren the minute they come to visit, go wash your hands. And let the water be good and hot! Kids seem to be a lot grubbier nowadays.


That elbow thing is ever so gross. I tell the kids to whip up their shirt and do it in their shirt end if necessary. It’s still gross, but less than snot smearing into their elbow.

What I think is amazing is that it is now a precaution to stay home until you better. As if that were news? This horrible habit we Americans have of going to work unless near death is not some display of our work ethic, but a loss of our humanity. Truly, we would need less medicine and have more robust old ages if we just stayed in bed when we started to come down with something. Don’t you think?


Sneezing into your HAND is both un-hygienic and disgusting. I taught my 2nd graders to cover a cough or sneeze with the inside of their elbows always. Whose hand would you rather shake: that of someone who just sneezed into their hand 10 seconds ago? Or that of someone who sneezed into their elbow 10 seconds ago. If more people avoided covering their coughs and sneezes with hands, germs would not spread nearly as quickly.


I agree, I think using the elbow in place of a kleenex is just disgusting. No wonder people are sick so often!


I really don’t think that the elbow is being used as a kleenex. It is not to wipe runny noses or blow your nose. Obviously, if a person is really sick, he or she needs to stay home. But, people have allergies, mild colds, the occasional sneeze or cough. How many kids carry a constant supply of tissues with them? How many run off to the wash their hands at every single sneeze or cough? That is the point of using the elbow-and the germs are not transferred to everything the child then touches, as it would be with the hands.

Mrs. Ida B.

To those folks trying to argue that sneezing and coughing into an elbow is a good idea, it isn’t an either-or situation. I wouldn’t want to shake hands with someone who had just sneezed into their hands, and I wouldn’t want to be around someone who had just done the same into their elbow. That’s gross. Look at number 1 and 2 on the list. Wash your hands frequently and sneeze or cough into a tissue and then wash your hands. Those should be the choices, period.


I don’t see how people could sneeze into their elbow, especially when wearing long sleeves. Then they’re going to walk around all day with a big gob of snot on their arm? Unless you have a change of shirt handy–gross! At least with your hands, you can immediately go wash them. Could you imagine talking to someone and seeing a big gob of snot on their arm? What, do you then go to the bathroom and wash your shirt after your sneeze?


Amen! It’s not as difficult to stay healthy as people seem to think it is.


Let me be perfectly frank here. I teach Pre-K, and yes, we do teach the kids to sneeze/cough into the crook of their arm. Sneezes come on quickly and the Kleenex box, while it’s always there, is often across the room. A child sneezing into his/her elbow is VASTLY preferable to one sneezing into their hand (ew) or let’s face it, directly into the face of another child or (horrors) into MY FACE. I’ve had it happen many, many times, and you know what? It’s not fun. So sneezing in into the elbow is the alternative… not a perfect solution, I admit, but that’s the way it is.


You still have germs on your shirt that can spread for up to 3 hours so wouldn’t it be better to tell children to have a couple Kleenex in their pockets/ desks or older children backpacks to grab when they feel it coming on. Yes they come on fast but I always know when I am going to sneeze and I try to always have Kleenex on me.