How to Get Kids to Stop Wiping Their Nose With Their Arms

While it is preferred that children cough into their arms, it is not advisable for them to blow their noses on their arms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nasal secretions can spread such illnesses as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus 1. The best way to get kids to stop using their arms as tissues is to teach them how to properly blow their noses.

Demonstrate how to blow your nose using a tissue while your child watches. Most children are visual learners and will understand the steps better when they see a parent completing them.

Give your child a tissue and have her place it over both nostrils. Ask her to blow out, pinch both nostrils, and wipe around the base of the nose with the tissue. Then have her fold the tissue over to expose a clean section, and ask her to wipe her nose again before tossing the tissue in a nearby trash can.

Take your child to a nearby sink so he can wash his hands with hand soap and water.

Give your child a bottle of hand sanitizer to use when it isn't possible to get to a sink, such as during the bus ride to and from school.

Provide your child with a pack of pocket tissues. She can easily store them in a jacket pocket or the front compartment of her backpack.

Create a step-by-step picture review on a sheet of poster board of the steps needed to properly wipe your nose. Hang this poster up in a location that your child has access to, such as a refrigerator or bathroom wall.


Consider getting a wristband made for nose wiping if your child is younger and not quite picking up on the necessary steps to wipe his nose with a tissue.