It’s that time of year again, the Fall Funk is going around with a vengeance and if you don’t take precautions you’re tempting a fever-hazed festival of holiday pain.</br></br>Does that sound fun? Of course not, but there’s one surefire way to significantly decrease the odds of falling ill – and there’s a good chance you’re not as familiar with it as you think.</br></br><strong>Putting Hand-Washing in Perspective </strong></br></br>There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over hand-washing in hospitals, and for good reason. It’s a captive experiment in how badly things can go wrong when proper hand sanitization is not practiced or enforced.</br></br>The <a title="World Health Organization" href="http://www.who.int/gpsc/tools/faqs/evidence_hand_hygiene/en/" target="_blank">World Health Organization frames this in lethal terms</a>, and although it’s scary it helps shine a bright light on how important hand-washing really is.</br></br><strong>Holiday Hand-Washing Priority</strong></br></br>Frequent and thorough hand-washing is always important, but the nature of the holidays makes it even more of a necessity. Why? Here are just a few reasons:</br></br>- Increased food handling (and eating)</br>- More people in confined spaces</br>- New germs getting introduced to new environments</br></br>In a nutshell, it’s because the holidays are a time when there are more opportunities to spread infection, even if all you meant to do was spread the joy.</br></br><strong>A Hand-Washing How-To</strong></br></br>You likely know the drill: 1) wet hands, 2) turn off the tap, 3) lather up every part of your hands, 4) scrub for 20 seconds, 5) rinse and then 6) dry with a clean towel.</br></br>The tricky part is how often you need to do this, which is basically <a title="Centers for Disease Control " href="http://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/" target="_blank">all the time</a>. You want to wash your hands before, during and after prepping food, before eating, any time you encounter an illness or a wound, after using the toilet, after touching kids or any animal (unrelated, of course), after touching trash and after touching high-traffic objects like work keyboards and doorknobs.</br></br>Obviously, that’s a lot of hand-washing, but what’s worse – a pleasant 20-second soap-down, or a week in bed on a 7-UP and cracker diet?</br></br>So wash your hands, take care of yourself and consult a great local plumber through <a title="Porch.com" href="https://porch.com/" target="_blank">Porch.com</a> if you need some sink love before the holidays.