With the coronavirus making its way into our communities, we’ve stocked up on disinfectant and hand sanitizer (if we could find it), we’ve finally learned how to properly wash our hands after a lifetime of inadequate lathering, and now we’ve got to get our kids to stop coughing all over the place.
But getting kids—especially toddlers and preschoolers—to stop coughing brazenly into the air is no easy feat. Even getting them to cover their mouth with a hand feels like progress, but it’s really not—because now they’re going to use that hand to spread their germs on every possible surface.
So we try to teach them to cough into their elbows, like civilised, non-germ-spreading folks do. But saying “cough into your elbow” is not nearly as cute, catchy or memorable as saying, “use your cough pocket.” Preschool teacher Laurie Goff explains on Twitter:
Want to know how to cough? This is how I teach my preschool students. Hope it helps. pic.twitter.com/eSwIzs02pZ
— Laurie Goff (@lloki08) March 8, 2020
“Simple, easy to use, it’s on your body, it’s free, it’s always with you,” Goff points out.
Adults should also model this practice by coughing and/or sneezing into their own cough pockets.