(KIAH) – Did you know it is National Hand Washing Week? It runs during the first week of December. It’s a great time to observe since it is in the middle of cold and flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that washing with simple soap and water prevents one out of five colds and is even more effective against other types of illnesses.

The CDC demonstrates that in order to keep hands clean, you should scrub front, back and underneath nails for at least twenty seconds.

“Not saying it’s going be perfect and you’re never going to get a respiratory infection or
you’ll never get the stomach flu if you will just wash your hands a lot. But the chances
are very good that you can prevent a lot of these issues if you’ll wash your hands,” said Dr. Kim McMillian, Baylor Scott and White.

Using soap and water is their recommendation, but hand sanitizer is an effective back-up — as long as you as use for 20 seconds.

So remember, just soap and water can help keep you healthy this cold and flu season.