Parents and experts concerned about pandemic impact on “bubble babies”

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MILFORD, Ill. (WCIA) — The pandemic kept a lot of us isolated over the past year. Now as things are returning to normal, experts and parents are worried about the impact isolation has had on the development of young kids.

“This is unprecedented in every step of the way, so there’s going to be a lot of attention on this coming up,” Joe Cohen, a licensed clinical psychologist, said.

For a year people stayed inside and away from others.

“I think this will be the first time we’re kind of after one of these big events that we’re really focused kids under the age of five to try to understand this kind of larger context and missing these normative events might have on their development,” Cohen said.

Now experts and parents are concerned kids may have missed out on crucial development skills.

“When she sees kids she kind of freaks out a little bit, is like staring at them like what is that,” Kenneth Jones, a dad from Milford, said.

The Jones family welcomed their daughter to the world in February 2020, so most of her life has been spent in isolation.

“She just wakes up and sees us and goes to bed and see us. So she doesn’t really, she doesn’t know no body else,” Jennifer Jones, mom from Milford, said.

They’re worried quarantine may be impacting their daughter’s upbringing.

“We come up here to the park and other kids come up here, she strays away from them. Almost like frightened, like she don’t know what it is,” Kenneth Jones said.

Experts from U of I say they don’t know how much of a toll the pandemic has had on kid and they won’t for several years.

“Their emotional reaction to these things can have a large impact to how the kid is impacting these things,” Cohen said.

For the Jones family, it’s worrying that their daughter hasn’t had a normal first year of life.

“She can’t be a common typical little kid at this age,” Kenneth Jones said.

“I wish she could be around more kids her age and be able to interact with them. I mean its kind of hard that she can’t because of all the stuff going on that she has to basically be stuck inside,” Jennifer Jones said.

The Jones family also had a baby recently. They hope the pandemic ends soon so he doesn’t have the same experience as his sister.

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