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Don’t Touch The T-Zone!

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Well, even though spring is officially here, we are still seeing a lot of coughs, colds and lingering RSV in our community. Thankfully, flu is on the way out!

While I was examining a child with upper respiratory symptoms, I was taught a very clever bit of information.  Mind you, I am always learning from my patients, but this time it was from a very precocious 4 year old little boy.

He had been coughing and I noticed that he was coughing into his hand. I told him that another way to cover his cough would be to cough into his elbow.

While we were talking about the benefits of this form of cough hygiene, I demonstrated how to do this. He listened attentively and covered his next cough with his elbow. Quick study and a good listener!

After finishing examining him, I was talking to his mother about her child’s illness.  The little boy interrupted and said, “Dr. Sue, I have something to teach you too”.  “You need to tell everyone not to touch the T-Zone”.

Now I am used to talking to teens about the T-Zone and acne, but why would this 4 year old know about the T-Zone?  Well, he quickly told me “you should not touch your eyes, nose or mouth; this is the T-Zone”. If you touch the T-Zone, you might get germs and then get sick”.  What a clever way to teach a child about keeping their hands off of their faces!  It was one of those “ah-ha” moments for me.

So now, not only do I talk about coughing into your elbow, I have added don’t touch the T-Zone to my “shtick” about preventing colds and coughs. Out of the mouth of babes!

Do you have any clever tricks you talk about with your kids?  Share with us! I would love to pass it on.

Related Posts on www.kidsdr.com

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