Coronavirus goes viral on TikTok

Kids are using the popular app to get information about the disease. Here’s what parents should know and how they can talk to their kids.
4:15 | 03/06/20

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Transcript for Coronavirus goes viral on TikTok
Thanks so much. More on the coronavirus. And the videos flooding your children's social media feeds. Some may be helpful but others confusing and some even frightening. Becky Worley took a look at what's being posted in San Francisco with more on this. Good morning, Becky. Reporter: Good morning to you, Amy. If your kids are on line, they are hearing about the coronavirus. Social media is filled with content that are informative but also scary so here's what parents need to know. News about the coronavirus is everywhere. TV, radio, digital. And if there's one thing we know about modern connected kids, if they're worried about something they'll search up more information on it. This can be beneficial or anxiety producing. Take this tiktok video. This Vietnamese dancers' catchy hand washing video has almost 3 million views and tiktok users across the globe creating their own coronavirus memes. In the world health organization posting its first ever video on the site. But there are also posts of people showing what it's like to be in quarantine, funny for some but kind of scary for younger kids. My kids have heard a lot about the virus and they just confided in me yesterday that they're not sure if school is going to close and they're nervous that their grandparents are going to get sick. Here's what the experts advise. Get in front of this. Know what your kids are watching and hearing. Let them know what's being done to keep them safe. Keep your information honest and simple. Validate their concerns. And be available for questions. Now, some kids I talked to are freaked out about the coronavirus and others are, eh. So one thing is for sure. We need to share our own worries with other adults and if possible shield our kids from that fear. Our job as parents is to make our kids feel safe to the best of our abilities which can feel pretty daunting at times, Amy. Yeah, I know, certainly but it's all good advice. We'll get some more now. Let's go to Dr. Janet Taylor joining us from Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Taylor, we can control to an extent what our kids see on TV but social media is an entirely different beast. They have their phones looking at tiktok videos, everything from information to something that's frightening so how do we manage this as parents? Well, you're right, Amy. They are watching but as parents we'll take any port of entry to talk to them. Great opportunity to say what do you know, how do you feel? In fact, you can explore and get information together. What about if you're walking down the street and seem people wearing masks. That could frighten some children. What do you tell them? Well, as an adult sometimes it frightens you like do you think should I be wearing one but what we know is that we can get the reaction, ask them to tell us how they feel. Explain how the virus is spread. And teach them how to wash their hand, for example, 20 seconds as you can sing twinkle twinkle little star, say your a, B, Cs and greet people but without touching adults and other children. Also in our reporting we've been talking about schools closing. What do you tell your kids if they're too scared to go to school because they hear reports about schools being closed. Schools are still safe places. What we want to emphasize is a sense of normalcy. If your child is in a school that's closed it's not play time. You still want them to study and, again, it's a time to explain how the virus is spread and what symptoms may be like, for example, if they have a fever or if they have a dry cough or have trouble breathing to come to you and talk to you and then if they need to go to the doctor they can. But sometimes staying home may be safer for everyone. Flip that around, though. If your kids see you with a cold or a cough or something they could get pretty scared. Well, they can but the reality is we all get sick. So it's an opportunity to talk about what their symptoms are like and explain you don't want to touch your face, you know, keep your hands out of your nose, your eye, wash your hands constantly. If you blow your nose have one place where you can throw away the tissues and re-establish what those boundaries are, what you do when you don't feel well and the enact that they are A lot of good advice there, Dr. Janet Taylor, thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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