Ask Dr Moore
ASK DR.MOORE November 19, 2004
The 21st Century Sneeze
Recently, a friend mentioned that schools are encouraging children to sneeze on their arm sleeve instead of their hand. The old adage “cover your mouth when you sneeze” takes on a new perspective. Now to demonstrate, instead of using a cupped hand, one would need to sweep your entire arm across your face. The 21st century sneeze.
The theory seems valid enough. A sneeze can send billions of infected germs flying from the mouth at speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour. When you cover your mouth with your hand, it become a vector of spread, as it is often the same hand people use to open doors, handle objects or shake someone else’s hand. Obviously the best choice is to sneeze into a tissue or handkerchief (yes, they still make them). Should you find yourself without one, sneeze into the bend of your elbow. It’s a good idea to teach children about germs and cleanliness, and their relationship to hand-washing early on.
During our last doctor’s office visit for vaccines, when we explained to our 2 year-old that he was going to need a shot: He exclaimed: “But daddy, I’m not sick!” He does not yet grasp the concept of "prevention”.
Should you find yourself with an under-the-weather family member this
flu season, remember:
I do not seek to create a community of o.c.'s (obsessive-compulsive)
or “stepford” children.
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