Does seeing only face masks affect babies?


It must be borne in mind that the initial contact is with their parents and relatives and, obviously, with the cohabitants there has been a complete facial connection. They do have reference to the faces of their parents without face mask.

At the moment there are few data, nor studies that confirm it, on the impact of confinement and the pandemic on children. Will it then affect the development of speech, language, expression of emotions or communication? It is clear that the mask deprives non-verbal communication, the expression of the face is not perceived, the gestures that accompany the language, the coherence between what is said and what is expressed with the face … Y to learn to speak in the little ones this is super important. On the other hand, we had never experienced a situation similar to that derived from the coronavirus pandemic, so references are lacking.

Spending most of his time with his parents at home is an advantage in this scenario, with his face uncovered. According to experts, when they are born, during the first months, they pay more attention to the eyes. Then they move on to the movement of the lips and this is where the current doubt of many families resides.

“You have to let a few months go by to see the true impact on babies”, Diana Rodríguez – Psychologist


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As explained Diana Rodriguez, psychologist: “There has been no stimulation of facial faces like the rest of those born in a non-pandemic period, however in their homes they have had the faces of parents, siblings … you have to let a few months pass to assess the true impact has had in babies ”.

Anyway, according to this expert, human beings are programmed to “identify facial gestures.” “Therefore, it will be positive for babies and their cognitive and emotional stimulation to see people without a mask. However, with facial, body and gaze gestures, babies are able to identify emotions even if we wear a mask ”, describes Diana Rodríguez.

As for the concern about possible effects or sequelae in babies due to all this issue of semi-covered faces for so long, “there is preverbal trauma but it is still too early to make a long-term diagnosis,” adds the expert.

“No data has been published that shows any problem due to this”, Federico Martinón – Pediatrician and researcher


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Federico Martinon, a pediatrician and clinical researcher, points out that for this issue of whether the issue of seeing the majority of people with a mask during all this time will affect children and adolescents, there is still no answer. “There is much speculation about that, but you have to think that really in the intimate context most of the time they are with their direct relatives and with people with whom there really is normal interaction,” says Martinón.

“As far as I know, no data has been published that objectively demonstrates any problem derived from it. That is to say, it is a potential problem, but we have to understand that in its majority interaction, which is with family members, parents and siblings, this interaction occurs without the mask “, points out the pediatrician:” There is no study objectifying it, far as I know. Only studies alerting of possible damages, but not verifying them ”.

“The baby is stimulated above all by the family, and at home he does not wear a mask”, Manuela del Palacio – College of Psychologists


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To Manuela Del Palacio, from the Official Colexio de Psicoloxía de Galicia, “there is no scientific evidence on this issue, so it cannot be proven that this is true.”

Del Palacio adds, due to his experience in his discipline and also from common sense, that “the baby is stimulated, above all, at the level of language by the family, and at home he does not wear a mask, with which, I don’t think that are affected in an exponential way ”, says the expert.

What is evident is the special relationship that is normally created between the baby and the mother, through the look and facial gestures. It is through these interactions that secure attachment and positive affect are established. Also through these situations the baby learns to understand facial expressions. Studies will tell whether the failure to see most people due to the mask will have any consequences on the development of the little ones.

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