BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — With the number of preventable disease cases on the rise, it is important to remember the importance of washing your hands.

The week of December 5th to the 11th is National Handwashing Awareness Week.

Experts say the increase in cases of preventable diseases is because of a decline in people’s immune systems due to being stuck inside for so long.

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of illnesses and can keep your children safe.

“Wash your hands, especially around kids,” said Hunter Reece, a daycare teacher at Busy Bee Child Care. “You have got to do that. You want to keep them safe, you want to keep your coworkers safe. If you’re working in the kitchen and then you got to wash your hands, you got to do that because it’s important. You don’t want to spread food poisoning, you don’t want to come in sick and give the kids whatever sickness you got.”

According to the CDC, studies show washing your hands can decrease the number of respiratory illnesses by 20 percent.