Sneezing 101: The Right Way to Sneeze

Updated on December 10, 2016
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Rose is an LPN (licensed practical nurse) who loves taking care of people. She is happily married, with 2 children and 2 grandchildren.


Sneezing 101

Hi everyone, Nursing 101 here to help you stay and feel great the entire season!

My name is Rose, and I am an LPN, or licensed practical nurse. Recently, I went to my local grocery store and noticed that many people—adults as well as children—have not been taught how to sneeze to avoid infecting others with the germs that were just thrown into the air. Before we begin, I would like to state that this is a learning area only; no one is throwing stones here. Let's begin.

Think you have allergies? Do you have a cold, or maybe the flu? Many people don't even realize they are sick before they exhibit major symptoms like coughing, sneezing, congestion, fever, chills, and/or aches and pains. But in order to prevent infecting others around us, we must take precautions. Let's everyone work to make sure we don't cause other people to become sick, as well.

Perfect way to sneeze, way to go!
Perfect way to sneeze, way to go!

How to Handle Sneezing

If someone else sneezes. To begin, any time you see a person sneezing and they have not covered their mouth AND nose, run! You do not want to walk by that person and breathe in the particles you just cannot see. Just stay away from that area for now.

If you sneeze. If you sneeze, instead of covering your mouth and nose—yes, I said mouth AND nose—do not use your hands!!! I cannot say this enough. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS. If you need to sneeze, cough, or anything that requires nose and mouth, the correct technqiue is to use the inside of your elbow. It's not hard. If you for whatever reason cannot do this, at least use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose.

Why shouldn't you use your hands to sneeze? First of all, everything you touch after you sneeze will be transferred to that object, which another person may subsequently touch. Then that person may use their hands to touch their nose or mouth, and there you go....the cycle begins.

Washing hands is essential in providing safety from many germs, the money you touch, the coins in your pocket, cell phone use, I can go on and on, cell phones, how many germs do you think are harboring on that cell phone you put to your ear and close to your mouth? Don't will scare you! So let's just say we are taking precautions, safe ones! Stay healthy this season, wash hands, wash hands, wash hands! Cover mouth and nose with either tissue or the inside of your elbow....and hope we all can learn from this blog. Oh, before I go, please show your children, they just don't understand how this process works, nothing is worse than seeing a child coughing all over the produce section or any place for that matter.

Germs away! Stay safe and have an awesome holiday season!

- Rose

right and wrong way!
right and wrong way!

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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