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The common habit many children and adults have that spreads germs

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RICHMOND, Va -- Doctors say the number of cases of children getting sick goes up as the school year begins.

That's because children are in close quarters with each other, which makes it easier for germs to spread. Doctors say washing hands is especially important, but there's also a habit many children -- and adults -- have that helps disease-causing germs jump from person to person.

"Limit when they're touching their faces," said Dr. Tracey Deal, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates. "And really try not to touch your nose or your mouth, because that's how germs are spread."

"Any time you're eating, any time you're blowing your nose, any time you're coughing, always make sure you're washing your hands. If you go to the bathroom, wash your hands. Before you go to lunch, wash your hands," said Dr. Deal.

Doctors also remind children to avoid sharing things like utensils and cups. Doctors suggest children bring water bottles to school, if they're allowed, so they don't have to drink from water fountains.

Tune in to CBS 6 This Morning this week for healthy habits during the back-to school season.