“Sneeze into your elbow.” Most of us live by this public health recommendation, advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meant to stop germs from spreading. We pass the teaching on to our kids.
But as one Long Island grandfather discovered, young children may take this advice to the extreme, forgoing a tissue and getting snot all over their arm or sleeve. That’s why Port Washington resident Stan Bratskeir invented The Sneeve, a soft, stretchy, disposable armband that traps germs.
His story goes like this: In 2013, his then-7-year-old grandson was just getting over a cold. Bratskeir watched him sneeze repeatedly into his arm and wipe his nose on his sleeve.
“It was gross,” he told news outlets such as ABC News New York, “so I said, ‘Chase, you know what you need? You need a Sneeve.’”
Thus, The Sneeve was born. Since 2015, Bratskeir, who is a longtime public relations executive, has been selling the product through the online store, thesneeve.com. Then, in 2016, Rite Aid pharmacies began test-selling the product in stores.
“Arm your kid in the fight against germs,” the box for a seven-pack of Sneeves reads. The antimicrobial sleeve absorbs germs and is said to kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria on contact.
The blue sleeve slips right on to a bare arm or over a shirtsleeve. One size fits most children ages 3 to 8 years old. It’s meant to be worn once and should last an entire day, unless a child has an especially bad cold, and is suitable for cold, flu, and allergy season.
The Sneeve could also be great for adults in work settings where they may not have immediate access to a tissue and need to sneeze, the Port Washington-based company says, adding that it will be working on new products soon.
A seven-pack of Sneeves is $9.99 plus shipping on thesneeve.com. The online shop also sells Sneeve T-shirts, a plain white tee with the company logo in the top right corner.