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Quiver in fear, swine flu: Killer sleeves are out to get you

July 29, 2009 |  4:10 pm

Download Worried about your kids catching swine flu?

A group of "mompreneurs" -- what a word, what a word -- have stepped up to the plate to help, a publicist has informed us. Three mothers have independently come up with cutesy-named and cutesy-designed sleeves and/or wristbands that you stick on Johnny or Janey's arm for them to wipe their noses on and sneeze on.

The idea: It's better to spray and slime the sleeve with viral particles than smear the hand or send an aerosol of them into the environment at large -- a tenet that infectious disease experts endorse, as a matter of fact.

There's the Germy Wormy, which our Healthy Skeptic columnist Chris Woolston assessed a while back.

Then there are Sniffle Buddies, and Sniffle Sleeve. Alike, yet distinctly different.

Germy Wormy has a lovable worm on it. Sniffle Buddies are made out of "a naturally antibacterial blend of Organic Bamboo and Organic Cotton" and the Sniffle Sleeve incorporates a canvas patch onto which the mom can pour "antibacterial and/or antiviral essential oils," ideally Sniffle Sleeve's "exclusively organic and wildcrafted therapeutic grade essential oils made specifically for kids."


In Woolston's assessment of Germy Wormy, Dr. Don Goldmann of Harvard University had this to say:

"If a person has to cough, the elbow is a great place to do it, Goldmann says, and the disposable sleeves might help stop the spread of flu if they encourage kids to cover their coughs. But once a kid has gotten into that habit, Goldmann doesn't see an advantage to wearing a Germy Wormy. Germs don't live long on fabrics; any germ that lands on a real sleeve isn't likely to infect anyone else."

The same would hold, we'd imagine, for a Sniffle Buddy or a Sniffle Sleeve, "wildcrafted" oils notwithstanding.

-- Rosie Mestel

Photo: Germy Wormy.

Credit: Back Enterprises LLC