When you're around others and you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on, you already know that it's not appropriate to let the germs fly. You've got to cover your sneeze or cough with your sleeve to keep germs and viruses from spreading. Follow these steps on how to sneeze or cough properly into your sleeve.
Keep your hands out of the way. Although most people think that coughing or sneezing into a hand is perfectly acceptable, few realize that germs are spread quickly this way. If hands are not washed immediately after a cough or sneeze into a hand, germs will be spread to any object that is touched with that hand - phones, doorknobs, food or even other people. Don't allow germs onto your skin by keeping your bare skin and hands away from a cough or sneeze.
Use only one arm. You will only need to use one arm to properly cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Don't hold your arm up with your hand. And don't try to cover parts of your mouth with your other hand as you find your sleeve. Use one arm, and nothing else. (Not your hands, not your other arm, nothing!)
Keep your nose low. Your nose needs to be buried somewhat in your sleeve to stop any germs from escaping. As you begin to cough or sneeze, place your nose below the top of your arm so that the bridge of your nose is barely visible. Your nostrils and your mouth should both be covered by your sleeve if you have done this correctly.
Keep your nose close. When you bury your nose for a cough or sneeze, ensure that you press it firmly to your sleeve. Any air between your nose or mouth and your sleeve will allow for the spread of germs into the air. Avoid this by covering your nose and mouth completely.
Aim for the area surrounding your elbow joint. The best place to cough or sneeze into your sleeve is an area where there is lots of fabric. The elbow joint is a perfect spot to sneeze into. When bent, your arm moulds to your nose and mouth, creating a confined area to cough or sneeze into.
Cough into fabric. Finally, cough or sneeze into your sleeve and nowhere else. Fabric will absorb the germs from your cough or sneeze. Don't cough onto your bare arms or hands or you'll continue to spread germs. You must cough into fabric. And rethink your habits of reusing handkerchiefs or tissues to cough into. Once your hands touch a used tissue, germs begin to spread. (If this is absolutely necessary, wash your hands immediately afterwards.) Coughing into your sleeve properly using the techniques mentioned above is the acceptable method of doing so in public. Remember to say ‘excuse me' after coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and your coughing and sneezing manners will be appreciated by everyone around you.