Teacher’s Pep Talk on ‘Cough Pockets’ is the Video Every Kid Needs to See Right Now

Laurie Goff

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands -- that's the advice that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and other health organizations keep reminding us of to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Hand washing might be one of the best ways to keep yourself (and others) healthy until the FDA approve a vaccine for COVID-19, but there's another crucial way that we can prevent the spread of germs too: by covering our coughs and sneezes. Yep. It's that simple. In fact, one preschool teacher from Seattle has gone viral for sharing her method of protecting hands from germs by creating what she calls a "cough pocket."

  • According to Laurie Goff, there absolutely is a wrong way to cough.

    We've all seen it. You're having a perfectly normal conversation with your 2-year-old, and then they start hacking away, straight into their hands. (Yuck!) In fact, we all probably know a couple of grown-ups who do this. 

    That is why Goff shared one of the biggest rules she has for her preschool students Saturday in a tweet: "We do not cough in our hands."

    Almost 25,000 people have liked Goff's simple but effective tip on Twitter so far, and it's easy to see why the advice is so popular -- especially now that the coronavirus is on everyone's mind.

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  • Above all, keep those hands far away from your face.

    According to Goff, no part of your hands (back, front, or otherwise) should be used to catch a cough.

    "The reason for that is when you cough into your hands like that, now you have germs all over hand," Goff shared in the video. "And anything you touch will get your germs on it."

    At which point, she continued, you'll have to wash your hands -- for 20 seconds with soap.

  • By employing the "cough pocket," you can get around the constant hand-washing after every cough or sneeze.

    And now, thanks to the COVID-19 scare, a cough pocket is the hottest accessory you already have on you. (Plus, it's free!)

    All you need to do is cough into the inside of your elbow, instead of into your hands. And that goes ditto for sneezing.

    "If you sneeze, you sneeze into your cough pocket," Goff instructed.

  • Of course, the CDC also has plenty of other recommendations for how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

    Avoiding people who have recently gotten sick is a biggie -- along with touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Health experts also urge people to stay home if they're feeling sick, disinfect any surfaces that are touched often, and use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes if you're not into the whole coughing into your elbow thing.
  • But for those who don't have a tissue at the ready and just want to keep their hands free from germs, the "cough pocket" is a pretty good idea.

    Especially for kids, who don't often remember to grab a tissue before they sneeze. But that's why Goff's advice is so brilliant.

    So there you have it, folks -- an easy, effective, and yes, totally free way to save yourself from spreading more germs. 

    Pass it on!

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