Health officials in the Philippines are asking — no, “strongly advising” — Catholics taking part in Easter self-flagellation rituals this week to first check the condition of their whips before lashing their backs.

Authorities worry that dirty whips could lead to tetanus and other infections, according to a report in the Manila Times newspaper Wednesday.

“We are not trying to go against the Lenten tradition here,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told the newspaper. “But this advice is important to make sure that no one will land in the hospital due to tetanus or other infections that penitents might get in the process.”

So be sure to check the condition of your whips. You don’t want to give yourselves tetanus or some other infection during holy week.