top of page

Young children struggle with speech development, due to pandemic – Pediatrician Dr. Mallika Mootoo

Pediatrician Dr. Mallika Mootoo has conducted numerous development assessments on young children over the past few years.

She says, as of recent, she has observed some ways the pandemic has hindered crucial areas of early childhood development.

“What we have seen with the younger kids is a lot of speech delay and a lot of delay in social interaction with the younger ones and we know this is because they have been isolated to some extent.

“For the past two years, some of them have actually never seen people without masks and as we know, seeing the whole face move is very important. Speech is so much more than just your lips moving.”

Dr. Mootoo says this is why the return of face-to-face learning is needed urgently, but relays that this must be done in a safe way.

“I am very happy for children to go back to school but as Dr. Scott (Maternal and Child Health Officer Dr. Oneka Scott) said, we do need to have more children vaccinated, or we need more parents having their children vaccinated so that the children can be safe in schools and teachers can be safe in school.”

Maternal and Child Health Officer Dr. Oneka Scott notes that covid is shown to affect children more significantly than some previous variants of the virus.

Both doctors emphasised that vaccines have been proven safe and effective for children of all ages as an added layer of protection against covid.


bottom of page