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Study Shows Covid Lockdowns and Masks Significantly Impaired Babies Development Skills

K.M. Chaudary

A new study found that Covid-19 lockdowns and masks impaired babies’ brains' proper development, impairing their social functions. 

Published in the academic journal “Archives of Disease in Childhood,” the study revealed that the prolonged lockdowns and mask mandates negatively affected their communication skills, being less likely to say their first words that pre-covid babies would otherwise be able to say.

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The study also found that babies were less likely to learn nonverbal communicative gestures because adults around them wore masks over their faces. 

Babies who were born within the first three months of the pandemic showed a significant decrease in communicative skills, noting that babies "missed the opportunity of meeting a normal circle of people outside the family home, including other babies and grandparents," due to social isolation and adults around them wearing masks. 

89.3 percent of pre-pandemic babies were able to verbalize words such as “mama,” “dada,” and “bye-bye.” However, only 76.6 percent of pandemic babies were able to do the same, a significant decrease of 12.7 percent. 

Additionally, the study also found that because adults around them wore masks, “babies from 6 months of age tend to shift their gaze from the eyes to the mouth.”

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Of the 3.6 million babies born in 2020, only 87.7 percent of lockdown babies were able to wave goodbye by the age of one, while 94.4 percent of pre-pandemic babies had that ability at the same age. 

The researchers of the study concluded that “because of lockdown measures, it is likely that Covid-19 era babies heard a narrower repertoire of language and saw fewer unmasked faces speaking to them.”

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