Bregman Medical Group | Services
 
BLOG LIST

Quarantine Babies

It’s been about two and a half years now since the Covid pandemic stopped the world. People everywhere were forced into isolation, putting an immediate stop to social functions and regular life as we know it.

As things got back to normal many people were still scared, suffering from a condition known as “Cave syndrome.” They may have gotten vaccinated but they still didn’t want to go shopping, to parties, to school, or even a picnic for some people. This pandemic-related form of agoraphobia kept sufferers around the world socially distanced.

For adults this was bad for mental health. For babies and young children - especially up to three years old - it impacted mental development. Children born just before or during the first year of the pandemic seem to be most affected.

A JAMA Pediatrics study found the lack of caregiver contact negatively affected motor skills and social-emotional development. Sharp decrease of social and other life skills has been seen in child psychologist/psychiatrists’ offices due to both lack of socialization and neglect of care from stressed or depressed caregivers.

Social-emotional development is the ability of a child to process emotions in a healthy way and connect with others.

Only time can determine long term effects of quarantine on the development of these children into adulthood. But there are immediate effects as well. They could seem uneasy at normal occurrences like large crowds at a shopping mall or meeting someone unfamiliar. Even the sudden onset of rain or a car honk may be more likely to cause crying or a fit.

The answer to this problem is at first simple: socialization.

Babies and toddlers need to get out, see other kids, and meet adults. Things like play dates, picnics, and group activities provide young children with experiences vital for social-emotional development.

The obstacle arises when a parent or caregiver’s Cave syndrome affects the kids. Concern about harm from the outside world for both baby and caregiver themselves may keep them from going out with the child and giving them the social activities they need.

It’s already more stressful going out with kids. It adds effort to outings, and with Cave syndrome this could make it harder to get out of the cave, so to speak. This can be done by reaching out for professional help or taking steps to expose one’s self to public life and re-acclimate to leaving home.

Once parents and caregivers are comfortable they may start phasing in play dates, shopping trips, meals at restaurants, park days, etc. Get them back out there in the world in a safe, gradual way so they develop appropriately. It’s advisable to seek the help of a professional child psychologist or psychiatrist for this process as they can help monitor them and examine progress.

On our recent podcast episode we spoke to Courtney who had two babies to raise during the Covid pandemic. For our conversation about how their development was affected and how she brought them up to speed, check it out at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and our own website www.bregmanmd.com/podcasts/

Bregman Medical Group has decades of experience helping kids and families through various mental health challenges. We offer online psychiatry and therapy right to your device! Simply schedule an appointment online at www.bregmanmd.com or call 305-740-3340.

References:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/itf09socemodev.asp

https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/babies-born-during-pandemics-first-year-score-slightly-lower-developmental-screening-test#:~:text=Columbia%20researchers%20found%20that%20babies,born%20just%20before%20the%20pandemic.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/pandemic-challenges-may-affect-babies-possibly-in-long-lasting-ways-202201132668

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/education/2022/06/09/pandemic-babies-now-toddlers-delayed-development-heres-why/9660318002/


By BregmanMD | October 27, 2022 | Mental Health

You can also contact us Monday thru Friday 9 am – 5 pm at 305-740-3340.