A couple of years ago I had an eye get really irritated while I was at work, so I went to urgent care when I got home. By then it had gotten even worse.

I knew it wasn't "pink eye," having seen that many times with five daughters.

The doctor ran some tests and I was diagnosed with strep. No sore throat or cough, just my eyes blood red and swollen shut by the next morning despite antibiotics and steroid eye drops.

This year a western Washington child died from a strep infection, and just two days ago a kindergartener lost a leg. Last week a woman lost several toes and fingers to amputation following complications from a strep infection.

To avoid those kinds of nightmares, remember to always wash your hands when you pass the sink. Antibacterial gel is not an effective germ prevention option -- wash your hands. That includes when you go to the bathroom and just pee, dudes.

I always make my kids use the gel anyway when they get in the car and we don't go straight home, but washing hands should be a habit anytime you first get home from public settings.

Better to be safe than getting your eye amputated. (I did not, luckily.)

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