On August 11, the medRxiv platform served as the stage for the publication of a surprising study: children born in the pandemic have lower IQs. In fact, pregnant women diagnosed with Covid-19 had a higher risk of premature (very premature) birth, but little was said about the babies.
Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics of Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, United States, confirm that children born in the pandemic have lower IQ. Thus, motor, verbal and especially cognitive skills are lower when compared to newborns born before the coronavirus spread around the world.
Image: Pierre Ogeron/Getty Images
Reviews state that the early years of a child's life are critically important for cognitive development. However, with the closure of daycare centers, schools, parks, and other early childhood environments, children are missing out on interpersonal interactions and stimulation at home. During the pandemic, many companies adopted a home office style, and parents are having to adapt notnot only with the long-distance job, but also, with small children around all day, raising the stress level.
Lack of stimulation is the main reason for the drop in IQ of children born in the pandemic
To prove that children born in the pandemic have lower IQs, professionals gathered 672 of them in tests designed to assess cognitive development. The result: they had particularly low scores because they were born at the height of COVID-19. The average IQ of a young child in the last decade varied around 100, yet the IQ of those who came into the world during the crisis fell to78.
Stimuli are essential for child development. Image: Divulgação/ The Little Gym
For now, researchers are taking the study as a 'simple' pre-publication, but Sean Deoni, lead author of the analysis, explains that the decline is not subtle. "This kind of decline does not exist without major, even serious, cognitive problems. However, the children who participated in the study had no developmental problems," he explained.
The main reason for the IQ drop in children born in the pandemic is lack of stimulation. This is because adults are interacting less with children, suffering from fatigue and stress accumulation. Even with the results serving as a basis, it is difficult to say whether the conclusions obtained will have a long-term impact. The expectation is that as the situation normalizes, thesestimuli to be reawakened in children.
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