How Snapchat, Instagram and others are teaching kids, Gen Z about coronavirus

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Social networking websites and other mainstream apps are trying to keep kids and teens informed about coronavirus by offering stickers, avatars and engaging content related to COVID-19.

The latest app to try to get interested in the outbreak is Snapchat. The company announced on Wednesday that it worked with the World Health Organization to create filters that display facts on how to stay safe and social distance during the pandemic.

"We believe that Snapchatters play a critical role in stopping the spread of the virus, and reliable information shared amongst friends is more important now than ever," Snapchat said in a statement.

Ninety percent of Snapchat users are 13 to 24 years old, according to the marketing agency Omnicore.

The filters show reminders to wash your hands, cover your face when sneezing and stay home to slow the spread of the virus.

Snapchat isn't alone in trying to keep informed. On Tuesday, the company behind the Facemoji keyboard unveiled avatars intended to remind friends and family not to hoard toilet paper.

When trigger words like "virus" are typed using the keyboard, Facemoji users will see falling stickers that encourage hand hygiene. The app will suggest sending well wishes to people who are affected by the pandemic, the company said.

On Tuesday, Spotify announced a standalone kids app complete with songs that teach kids how to wash to their hands. And Instagram recently launched a feature aptly-named "Stay Home" to promote social distancing.

Doctors and the World Health Organization are leveraging TikTok to get out to kids.

"We are joining @tiktok to provide you with reliable and timely public health advice! Our first post: How to protect yourself from #coronavirus," the public safety organization wrote in its first post on the platform in March.

The CDC says adults are at a higher risk for COVID-19 than kids. Still, kids and young adults have come down with the respiratory illness.

"Information about COVID-19 in children is somewhat limited, but current data suggest children with COVID-19 may only have mild symptoms," the CDC says. "However, they can still pass this virus onto others who may be at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions."

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