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“Don’t Lick the Handrails!”

“Don’t Lick the Handrails!”
Day 77/365

This is a post written in 2015. I am confident my kids don’t lick the handrails anymore at 9 and 11. Well, 90% confident. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m pretty sure they still do.

So one morning shortly after we had returned from our latest trip to Disneyland, the kids and I were cuddling in bed together, browsing through my Facebook news feed when this article came across the screen. I started reading it aloud to the kids, because the second paragraph resonated with me:

I’ve been going to Disneyland for years and since having children, I think I’ve seen it all – including my own kids licking the hand rails while waiting in line. (Let that sink in for a bit.)

~Casey Starnes, Disneyland Daily
Our first encounter with handrails at Disneyland

Taking a Poll

Now, I already knew the answer to the question I was about to ask, but I had to put it out there, “Who here has licked the handrails at Disneyland?” Carter immediately put his hand up. “Me, I have. I’ve licked the handrails at Disneyland,” almost as if he were proud of the fact that he had done something that the author of the article was suggesting. Maggie didn’t say a word, but only because she understands the subtle nuances of language better than her brother and knows not to brag about something that adults find completely horrifying.

Getting in a few licks before riding Dumbo

But Why?!

Ever since we had this conversation, I’ve been wondering what’s the draw? What would precipitate anyone to lick handrails? Alright so maybe they’re at the right height. Oh, here’s something at the same level as my tongue. And, there are a LOT of them, especially accessible on busier days when you’re standing in long lines. What else are you going to do while you’re endlessly awaiting your turn? One more thing I hadn’t considered is that perhaps they taste good. I mean, there’s no shortage of sticky, sweet goodies at Disneyland, and you gotta imagine some of that yummy stickiness ends up on the handrails.

Yeah, he definitely just licked that fence!

Prevention Is Key

I guess all I can do is work on the prevention end. My kids are not big hand washers. I have to remind them to wash up every time after we use a public restroom, and I tend to forget to have them wash before meals. Some people use hand sanitizer like it’s water. Not me. My kids are exposed to many more germs than the average disinfected and sterilized American home, so maybe that’s to their advantage. It allows their immune systems to have something to fight!

Licking handrails while watching the boats at “it’s a small world”

Bring on the Vitamins!

Speaking of immune systems, I am a stickler for vitamins because I think they help to strengthen your body’s natural defenses. Everyone in our house takes at least a daily multivitamin. For the kids, I add an immunity gummy. I even give them a second daily immunity gummy a week or two before, during, and after a trip to stave off any strange illnesses to which they may have been exposed.

He’s climbing up to reach the sweet spot

Staving off Viruses

Add to that early bedtimes and mostly good diets, and we have a pretty healthy household. Now that doesn’t mean we never get sick. Carter came home from the trip with a cough which required a couple of days of breathing treatments and lots of tissues for his runny nose. Maggie’s nose started running a day or two later, but she never developed anything worse. Bryan and I were both “under the weather,” with runny noses and the like, but were never really sick. We like to use Coldeze to stop those symptoms dead in their tracks whenever we feel like we’re coming down with something, so maybe that helped shorten the duration and severity of our colds.

“Don’t lick the handrail, kids!”

Given the average incubation period of the cold virus, I counted the days, and I’m pretty sure that if my math is correct, I caught my cold from one of the kids. If I were in Vegas right now, I’d bet money they caught theirs from licking the handrails at Disneyland. So, lesson learned. Next time we go to Disneyland I will make sure that my kids DO NOT lick the handrails.

I wonder if the ropes taste as good

Yeah, right. You and I both know they will lick the handrails, but maybe this time I should just calmly get out the hand sanitizer.

Not for their hands, mind you. It’s going directly on their tongues!

Do you think Peter Pan licks the handrails? He is the ultimate kid, after all! You can find Maggie’s Snow Queen costume here.


  • LOL, that’s hilarious!! We haven’t taken our son to a Disney theme park yet, but when we do, I’m going to think of this post, bring plenty of hand sanitizer and remind him NOT to open his mouth anywhere near the handrails! 😉

    • Debra Baca

      Right? I wish I would have told them they taste like brussel sprouts or something, and then they would have stayed far away!

  • Love this post! It’s crazy to think about all the germs on those handrails and seats! I know my kids are guilty of adding to the grossness! Hopefully, like yours, mine are getting bigger and won’t lick the hand rails, but I still have one little one who may. Yuck!

    • Debra Baca

      I think it’s best NOT to think of all the germs at Disneyland and just realize that it comes with the package like hotel and tickets.

  • I’m a big germaphobe (but not serious for a prescription yet), so this post has me on the edge of my seat. LOL. I’ve taught my kids to not touch any rails AT ALL! I would yell at them like a crazy person, DON’T TOUCH THE RAILS– as they look at me with fright!! I would rather them fall, than get germs. LOL. However, kids will be kids 🙂

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