December 1 - 7 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week. Now, before you think, oh my God they have a week for everything, consider this, the majority of colds and illnesses are spread through hand contact. Whether you shake someone's hands, or touch something and then rub your face, eyes or nose, you're coming into contact with other people's germs.

Health care professionals advise you to wash your hands with hot, soapy water often. Not just a quick wash, you should wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing "Happy Birthday".

You should also use antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer after going to the grocery store and using hand carts. Carry your own pen! Pens used by cashiers, waitresses, doctor's offices and delivery people are super carriers of cold viruses! Be sure to use one too after using an ATM!

Woman's Day offers these stats on colds and flu.

  • 200 plus cold viruses exist
  • 3 to 8 colds is the average number a child will get in a year
  • 93mph is the rate at which air particles travel out of your nose and mouth when you sneeze
  • 3 feet is the distance droplets can travel from a cough or sneeze
  • 5 minutes is the time germs can live on hands
  • 1 to 2 days is how long cold germs can live on hard surfaces like doorknobs pens, and phones
  • 8 to 12 hours is how long a cold virus remains on cloth, tissue and paper