It's every mother's nightmare. Your child goes to play with a friend, and comes home telling you he got a dollar on a dare by licking a....

...handrail! The boy in this particular news story licked an entire subway entrance handrail in NYC! For a buck.

Wanna hear what microbiologists have to say about licking anything public? I'll tell you, but you won't want to pass THIS tidbit along to your kids.

Dr. Charles P. Gerba, a microbiologist, says that if anyone dares you to lick anything in public, lick a toilet seat. It's safer than a public handrail.

Gerba has examined germ levels in public places like bus seats, bus handrails, indoor handrails, and toilet seats. He found that about 50 different microorganisms live on a toilet seat, while a handrail provides a home for HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of germs.

"Americans are terrified of butt-borne diseases," he says, explaining why toilet seats are so clean. Most people wipe off toilet seats or use seat covers, but we give little thought to the condition of railings.

Now we just need to know how to sanitize a child's tongue before he swallows!

(NBC News)