Pandemic Babies Show Neurodevelopmental Differences, Study Shows
CLEVELAND, Ohio - A new study found that babies born during the first year of the pandemic showed neurodevelopmental differences at six months of age.
Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatrician, Katherine Myers, M.D., who was not a part of the study, said she is not surprised by the results.
“We were worried that the time away from the public, the time away from school, that time away from family members might be having some impact on children’s development,” said Dr. Myers. “And ultimately, this study has shown us that at least at six months there seem to be some differences in development.”
According to the study, the infants measured lower in gross motor, fine motor and personal-social skills. Some examples would include lifting their head, reaching or grabbing objects, and interacting with parents.
Dr. Myers said it’s hard to say how these kinds of delays in development could affect a child long-term, that’s something that still needs to be studied, however, she does advise parents to be as involved as possible with their children at an early age. She said those interactions are very important.
“One of the best things that we can do for our kids is get down and play on the floor. We can engage with our kids, be active with them, read them stories, show them everything we are doing on a day-to-day basis. The more we engage with our children, the more they learn from us,” she said.
The study also looked at any possible links between the mother and contracting COVID-19 while pregnant and if that could have impacted the infant’s development, but there does not appear to be an association.