Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illnesses and infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thoroughly washing your hands with soap removes germs from your hands, germs which could otherwise lead to diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Hand washing prevents skin and eye infections, adds the CDC. It can also prevent more serious infections such as meningitis, the flu and hepatitis A, notes Kids Health. Hand washing also protects the health of those around you, as it stops you from transferring the germs from your hands to someone else's hands as well as to objects and food.