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Early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on promotion of infant activity, strength and communication: A qualitative exploration


Introduction: Fostering physical activity, muscle strengthening and communication skills in diverse environments are vital to ensuring healthy infant development; however, promotion of these skills may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore healthcare workers, parents and childcare providers' perceptions of the pandemic's influence on how they engage with infants to promote physical activity, muscle strength and communication. Methods: 37 subjects (12 = parents; 12 = childcare providers, 13 = healthcare workers) participated in a semi-structured interview. Data were analyzed via an inductive content analysis. Results: The majority of caregivers identified concerns related to: limitations in social interactions (especially masks impacting communication), lack of access to peer modeling, fewer opportunities for physical exploration, and a need for creative activities in diverse environments (e.g., home/childcare) for infant development during and after the pandemic. Conclusions: Caregivers are concerned about the role COVID-19 is having on infant development. Additional resources on how to promote infant physical activity, muscle strength and communication despite challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are needed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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