Most parents do their best to remind their children to wash their hands after using the bathroom, to wipe their runny noses with a tissue, and to cover their mouths when they cough, but trusting kids to maintain proper hygiene is often a losing battle. We look away for one second, and they're wiping snot on their sleeve or sneezing directly into their friend's mouth.
Although we can chalk much of this up to kids being kids, with the growing number of stateside coronavirus cases heightening anxieties, it's even more important we remain vigilant in teaching our children how to keep their germs to themselves.
Want to know how to cough? This is how I teach my preschool students. Hope it helps. pic.twitter.com/eSwIzs02pZ— lg lokki (@lloki08) March 8, 2020
If, like me, you've tried and failed to show your toddler how to properly cough into the crook of their elbow, one preschool teacher shared a handy — or, rather, unhandy — way she gets the kids in her classroom to cough correctly.
Laurie Goff explained that when you cough in or on your hands, "now you have germs all over your hands and anything you touch will get your germs on it." Instead of doing this and having to immediately wash your hands with soap, she introduced the term "cough pocket."
In a Twitter video, she demonstrated coughing and sneezing into the elbow of her bent arm. "You need to use your cough pocket," she said. "It's simple, easy to use, it's on your body, it's free, it's always with you."
I've long displayed this style of coughing for my kids, but not until I called it a "cough pocket" did my 3-year-old engage with the concept. Sometimes it takes a fun, kid-friendly term to make good habits stick. Thanks, Ms. Goff!