Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coughing on a baby and rubbing it in

A few days ago I posted about the medical recommendation to cough into your elbow instead of your hand. I thought that would brush the virus off onto whatever your sleeve touches. I mentioned hugging kids, but a commenter* added, "and I just love watching a caregiver cough into her shoulder and then pick up a baby."

Of course. Of all the things a blogger on child care thinks of that a sleeve might brush against, I forget babies. Coughing into your sleeve or shoulder and then picking up a baby is just like coughing on the baby and rubbing it in. The protocol in an infant center should be one of three procedures:
  1. Cough into your shoulder or elbow.
  2. Change your shirt or wash your arm.
  3. Pick up baby.
  1. Cough into your hand.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Pick up baby.
  1. Cough into kleenex.
  2. Throw kleenex away.
  3. Pick up baby. 
*Commentaria primaria, the first commenter on this blog, may her tribe increase and her memory be revered.

UPDATE: I just looked at the Centers for Disease Control's recommendations for child care centers. It says, "cover noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available)."

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