Babies Born During COVID-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs Study Says

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

15 Aug 2021

Children born during the coronavirus pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared with children born before, a US study suggests.

Living the entirety of their short lives in lockdown isn’t ideal in what are the critical stages to their cognitive development.

Lead study author Sean Deoni, associate professor of paediatrics (research) at Brown University highlighted limited stimulation at home and less interaction with the world outside, is what has caused pandemic-era children to have scored shockingly low on tests designed to assess cognitive development.

Researchers analyzed the cognitive performances of 672 children born in Rhode Island, 188 of them born well into the pandemic (after July 2020), 308 born before it (prior to January 2019) and 176 of them born during its beginning stage (between January 2019 and March 2020).

“It’s not subtle by any stretch,” Deoni said. “You don’t typically see things like that, outside of major cognitive disorders. Parents are stressed and frazzled … that interaction the child would normally get has decreased substantially,”.

The setbacks created by the pandemic will be harder for children to overcome.

“The ability to course-correct becomes smaller the older that child gets”, Deoni emphasised.

The tragedy doesn’t stop there. The data from the study comes from a relatively affluent part of the US, the fear is that things could be worse in poorer parts of the country and the world at large.