A US study shows that what the consequences of corona are on newborns. Does that really mean that kids born during the pandemic will have lower IQs?
The first years of a child’s life are crucial for their cognitive development, but in lockdown, as a large part of public life is closed, a baby is exposed to far fewer external stimuli from the environment.
- Child development is important and the pandemic has removed options which might lead to lower IQs
- IQs in comparison to pre-pandemic babies
- More studies are needed on the consequences of the pandemic on child development and IQs
- So how can you make sure that your child continues to develop properly?
Child development is important and the pandemic has removed options which might lead to lower IQs
Children born during the coronavirus pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and general cognitive performance compared to those born before the pandemic. That is the result of a new US study by Brown University in the US state of Rhode Island.
The first years of a child’s life are crucial for their cognitive development. But the closure of companies, kindergartens, schools and playgrounds due to the pandemic changed the lives of babies significantly, and parents were sometimes stressed and overwhelmed. They had to try to combine work and childcare, according to the study authors.
As a result, there was less interaction with the outside world, and the children also received less attention, i.e. stimulation from their parents, at home. They got shockingly low scores on tests to assess cognitive development.
IQs in comparison to pre-pandemic babies
In the decade before the pandemic, the average IQ value on standardized tests for children between the ages of three months and three years was around 100; according to the analysis, this number fell to 78 for children born during the pandemic. The results must be peer-reviewed -Procedures are still to be scientifically checked, it is said.
672 children from the state of Rhode Island took part in the study. Of these, 188 were born after July 2020 and 308 before January 2019, while 176 were born between January 2019 and March 2020.
More studies are needed on the consequences of the pandemic on child development and IQs
According to the study, the main reason for the drop in values is the lack of stimulation and interaction at home, Deoni said.
It is still unclear whether these lower cognitive values will have a long-term influence. It is also unclear whether this result can be transferred to Germany, because we have an instrument of parental leave that enables parents to take care of their children more.
So how can you make sure that your child continues to develop properly?
1. Play with your kids!
Playing with kids is vital for their development. Even before they learn to talk, infants and children reach out for attention—babbling, gesturing, or making faces. When young children offer a chance to engage with them, it’s important to give them attention. It can be as simple as a game of peek-a-boo. Or, if a toddler points at a toy, name it out loud as you hand it to the child.
Why? Play interactions help build developing brains and resilience, something we all need in these challenging times.
2. Maintain social connections
Stay-at-home measures are helping to slow the spread of the virus, protect our health, and protect our hospitals. But, while we are staying apart from each other physically, it’s even more important to connect socially, to protect our emotional well-being. Keep up relationships and social contacts—while maintaining physical distance outside your own home.
Why? Responsive relationships—like those with lots of serve and return interactions (see #1 above)—between children and adults, adults and other adults, and children and other children all help buffer us against the effects of ongoing stress.
2. Make sure your child is exposed to social situations
Go outside and say hello to neighbors, friends, people passing by. Just make sure to keep at least 6 feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with you.
Why? New stimuli – your child will be exposed to new situations that they need to process.