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Culture Kristen Bell hosts Nick pandemic special for kids, families

Kristen Bell hosts Nick pandemic special for kids, families

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kristen Bell is hosting a Nickelodeon special with a “kid’s-eye view” of the coronavirus pandemic to address youngsters’ concerns and help families weather the crisis, the channel said Friday.

Bell and her guests practiced social distancing, using video to connect for the hourlong program airing 7 p.m. EDT Monday. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s surgeon general, and Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, former U.S. surgeon general, offer advice on how to be healthy, while kids and parents around the country share how they’re coping with disruption.

“I feel like right now, kids’ questions and worries might be getting overlooked,” the “Frozen” star said in explaining why she participated. “I wanted kids to feel empowered to ask questions, and create a place where they are heard.”

Children need and deserve that, Bell said in an email to The Associated Press after taping “#KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon Town Hall” on Thursday.

“I hope people see that kids’ worries are just as important as every adults, and I hope people encourage their kids to ask vulnerable questions, and take their ideas of how to help seriously,” Bell said. “Some of these kids are getting some amazing work done helping people in their community!”

Josh Gad, Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Charli D’Amelio and Russell and Ciara Wilson make appearances. Other celebrities contribute home videos, including YouTube personality Emma Chamberlin’s how-to on having housebound fun with your pet. Music artists JoJo Siwa and DJ Khaled also took part, Nickelodeon said.

“With families everywhere focused on staying healthy and essentially every kid out of school, we immediately understood this is the time to act quickly and be there for the audience in a way that can hopefully help them better cope with what’s going on,” said Brian Robbins, ViacomCBS’ head of kids and family content.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The special, also showing on TeenNick and Nicktoons, is part of the #KidsTogether initiative that launched this month and enlists familiar Nick faces to help people stay healthy and active. SpongeBob SquarePants, for instance, demonstrates effective hand-washing and social distancing in videos shown on Nickelodeon’s cable and digital platforms.

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