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Mom's Advice Still Makes Sense: Wash your Hands To Avoid Getting Sick

By Maigge Hall

December 07, 2017

Our mothers told us to wash our hands before eating and after playing when we were kids, but we never outgrow the need to practice proper hygiene to avoid disease.

Dec. 3-9 is National Handwashing Awareness washing Week , areminder that illnesses such as influenza, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) and the common cold can stay away if we block how germs and viruses reach us. In addition to an annual flu vaccine, prevention habits can keep us healthier when those around us are sick.

These tips can help keep disease at bay:

• Always wash your hands with soap and water when they’re dirty, before eating and after bathroom use.

• Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. Use the inside of your elbow or a sleeve.

• Keep your fingers out of your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Always wash after changing diapers or helping a potty-training toddler.

• Use antibacterial liquids if you’re in a place where you can’t find soap and water.

• Stay away from those who are sick and stay home if you’re ill so you’re not infecting others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information on when and how to wash at For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to or call (727) 824-6900. Follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit