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Study: Babies born during COVID-19 lockdown show signs of cognitive disabilities
By zoeysky // 2022-10-19
According to a study in Ireland, babies born during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were less likely to be able to speak before their first birthday compared to other children born before the pandemic. The study, which was published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, also found that children born during lockdown were displaying a worrying list of cognitive impairments. For example, some children were less likely to be able to reach developmental milestones such as waving "goodbye" and pointing at objects.

Adverse effects of masking and lockdowns

For the study, titled "Social communication skill attainment in babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic," researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland observed 309 babies born in the first three months of lockdown in Ireland between March and May of 2020. The babies were tested for 10 behavioral milestones at their first birthday and the results were compared against 2,000 babies born between 2008 and 2011. The study findings showed that lockdown babies were:
  • At least 14 percent less likely to have said their first word.
  • Nine percent less likely to have started pointing.
  • Six percent less likely to wave goodbye.
The scientists think that face masks limited children’s ability to see people’s mouths and become accustomed to different facial expressions. This may have made it harder for lockdown babies to learn how to speak. Additionally, prohibiting relatives and friends of the parents from visiting is thought to have contributed to the stunting of the social development of children. The study authors wrote that these measures may have also reduced the children's opportunities to encounter new items of interest, which might prompt pointing, and the frequency of social contacts to enable them to learn to wave goodbye. The researchers also reported that lockdown babies were still more likely to be crawling, which may be due to having spent more time at home on the ground instead of outdoors in cars and strollers. The study was observational, but it also suggests that lockdowns and masking have had negative effects on the development of growing children.

Lockdowns negatively impacted children's verbal skills

According to a different study in Britain, young children entering elementary school have severely underdeveloped verbal skills. Results even show that many students are unable to say their own names. (Related: Britain bans COVID vaccine for children under 12, says they are at very low risk of developing severe COVID.) Speech therapists say that mask wearing has caused a 364 percent increase in patient referrals of babies and toddlers. Another study suggested that the mean IQ scores of young children born during the COVID-19 pandemic have decreased by as much as 22 points. Other factors like verbal, motor and cognitive performance have also been negatively affected because of the lockdowns. A different study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science showed that lockdowns in the U.K. caused around 60,000 children to suffer clinical depression. Data showed that at least 400,000 British children were referred to mental health specialists in 2021 for issues such as eating disorders and self-harm. Education experts have also warned that forcing schoolchildren to wear face masks has caused long-lasting psychological trauma. Research from Germany showed that the reading ability of children has gone down compared to pre-COVID times because of lockdown policies that led to the closure of schools. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University concluded that global lockdowns have had more adverse effects on society than alleged benefits. They also warned that lockdowns are "ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument." Visit to read more articles about the negative effects of COVID-19 measures like lockdowns and masking. Watch the video below to know more about mask-induced exhaustion syndrome in children (MIESC). This video is from the Gabriels' Horn channel on

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