New Study Suggests Pandemic Could Be Causing Developmental Issues

New Study Suggests Pandemic Could Be Causing Developmental Issues

( – There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental in many ways. People have reported suffering psychological setbacks because of lockdowns, restrictions, and general fear. For the pandemic babies, could it also be stunting their development?

Research published in JAMA Pediatrics on January 4 shows that the pandemic may be having adverse effects on infants’ brains. The group conducting the study did not directly link the issues to the actual COVID-19 virus. However, the researchers said it appears pandemic babies score lower than those born before 2020 when it comes to fine and gross motor abilities and interpersonal skills.

Dr. Dani Dumitriu says the study suggests stress is an identifiable cause of the issues. She explained the babies of mothers who were in the first trimester of pregnancy at the height of the pandemic scored the lowest on developmental tests. She also stated that the reduced social interaction that came with lockdowns and social distancing may have played a part in the issues seen with interpersonal skills.

Dumitriu did say studies such as these that occur around six months of age are not good at indicating children’s long-term development. So, it is impossible to know right now if these children will catch up or if the issues will persist.

The doctor cautioned that this is an overall concern within the population that could eventually lead to a public health problem. She stated the research suggests a need for monitoring of babies born during this time over the long term to enable the implementation of early intervention strategies if needed.

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