Washing your hands may prevent you from coming down with a cold this season.
Viruses that cause colds can be spread through direct contact, from shaking hands to touching contaminated objects like children's toys.
When washing your hands, the Baylor College of Medicine newsletter recommends using soap and water to wash all areas thoroughly, including wrists, palms, backs of hands, fingers and underneath fingernails. Rub hands together vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds and dry with a clean, disposable towel.
Dr. W. Paul Glezen, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology at the Houston-based college, says to avoid hand contact with your mouth, nose and eyes. Don't share cups, glasses, silverware or towels with others. Use a hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available; that kills 99 percent of germs and bacteria. Instead of handkerchiefs, use disposable tissues. And don't forget to wipe down faucets, doorknobs and light switches. Germs can easily be transmitted through the household that way.