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Cough Into Your Elbow

Where Ya Gonna Cough?

We all know that it’s more than polite to cover our mouths when we cough; it makes good public-health sense. Oh, I can still hear my mother’s voice ringing in my ears. I can hear my own voice ringing in my daughters’ ears for that matter because I must say the phrase 20 times a day.

Regarding public health, you should really aim your cough into the crook of your elbow or your shoulder, and away from your hands. That way if you are contagious (and it is really hard to know if you aren't), the germs coming out of your mouth don’t make it onto your hands, which interact with the world by touching. Since you are less likely to touch things with your elbow or shoulder, the germs won’t spread. This isn't just for coughing. I have heard the catchy phrase "Sneeze into your sleeve" lately, too!

So do like your mother told you and cover your mouth when you cough — just do it with your elbow.


Join The Conversation
hardcorecupcakex hardcorecupcakex 8 years
I never heard of this.I'm going to have to do this for now on
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I have always done this and I'm trying to train my boyfriend now. :)
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 9 years
I wish everyone would do this. I sit around people who don't even bother to cover their mouths. :(
Lynne Lynne 9 years
I've been doing this for 20 years when my first grade teacher told us to do it that way so she didn't have to touch our germs! The worst is sitting in church, watching someone cough and sneeze into thier hands, knowing they're going to turn around to shake your hand! I always watch the people around me and avoid their hands at all costs!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
always do this and then try to wash my hands right away anyway.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I've been doing this for yearsssssssssssss. And I don't care if people look at me funny :) My mom teaches kindergarten, she teaches the kids to sneeze and cough this way as well.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 9 years
Yep, learned this when my daughter was in pre-school. Haha, she came home telling me!
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
i JUST sneezed into my HAND...whoops, while reading this!!!! NO JOKE!!!!
millarci millarci 9 years
I just started doing this not too long ago. It makes sense and I wonder why I didn't think of it before.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I do this it's doesn't really look as "weird" as you might think it would...
kayleigh83 kayleigh83 9 years
I always do this, I rarely cough into my hands. Same goes with sneezing (although then you might get a little surprise on your sleeve!)
DoctorBunBun DoctorBunBun 9 years
Ah, this is great advice... I often aware of this while I'm on the subway, and I try to be aware of all the germs that are on the hand-rails. Ick.
sarlafrock sarlafrock 9 years
I agree, great info - but people do look at you kind of strangely when you sneeze on your elbow... haha! I try to keep tissues nearby when i have a cold/cough to cough/sneeze into to avoid looking weird in a meeting...
secrethoughts secrethoughts 9 years
This is the best advice ever. I hate it when I have to meet with people and they hack and cough all over their hands and then they try to shake hands with me. Ick....
suzanne suzanne 9 years
This is such good advice! Thanks Fit, :HUG: Hands are the #1 way that germs are spread. If you can keep your hands clean with good habits and good handwashing, then everyone benefits :)
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I elarned this on when I worked in a cafeteria and they didn't want germs on the food or on your hands.
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