close up hands of children or Pupils At preschool Washing hands with soap under the faucet with water

Many are acknowledging this week (Dec. 1 to Dec. 7) as National Handwashing Awareness Week, and the timing seems just about perfect. Now in the dead of fall, nearing winter, the United States is gearing up for months of increase cold and flu activity. Washing one’s hands is of course one of the best ways to prevent the spread of many illnesses.

There are a few ways to observe National Handwashing Awareness Week. National Day Calendar, a website that keeps a list of all national holidays — most of which the public wouldn’t know existed — suggests people prioritize washing their hands several times a day. Those wishing to participate could also take to social media. This week, the hashtag #NationalHandWashingWeek is being used on Twitter.

Handwashing shouldn’t necessitate a day or even week promoting its merits, but it does. Study after study has shown that people do a horrible job of keeping their hands clean. Those seeking more motivation might to wash their hands might want to check out the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, where they can observe a map charting the growth of the flu.