Mask Harms in Kids: 68% of Parents Report Alarming Psychological and Physical Problems In First-of-its-kind Study

By Sayer Ji, GreenMedInfo Research

A German study involving over 25,000 children reveals that major negative impacts on the physical, psychological, and behavioral health of children may be far more widespread than reported in the media and by government officials — affecting approximately 68% and contributing to 24 distinct health complaints, according to parent submitted observations.

A concerning study conducted in Germany has been posted online as a preprint (not yet peer-reviewed) titled, “Corona children studies “Co-Ki”: First results of a Germany-wide registry on mouth and nose covering (mask) in children,” describing the results of 17,854 parent submitted reports on health complaints or impairments experienced as a result of wearing masks by their 25,930 children.

The study was designed to both explore the accumulating narratives reported by parents, educators, and doctors about increasing problems and health complaints in children and adolescents wearing masks, as well as to provide the first known online registry where parents, doctors, teachers, and others can enter their first-hand observations. The registry and the questionnaire can be found online at www.co-ki-masken.de

The study authors stated:

“There are no manufacturer-independent studies on the use of masks for children and adolescents that are certified as medical products for occupational safety in professional applications. In addition, due to the unknown materials used, there are no findings on the potential protective effects or side effects of the often home-made “everyday masks” worn by the majority of children. In view of the ongoing measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular the varying obligations for children and adolescents to wear masks in school over a longer period of time, there is an urgent need for research.”

On October 20th, 2020, 363 doctors were asked to make entries and inform parents and teachers of the existence of the registry. 

The data recorded in the registry included information regarding the role of the registrant, demographic data, previous illnesses, situation and duration of mask wearing, type of mask, existence of complaints from the child about an impairment via the mask, symptoms, behavioral problems, and the respondent’s personal attitude to corona protection measures of the government.

On average, children wore masks for 270 minutes a day, with impairments being reported at nearly the same rate by the children (67.7%) as the parents (66.1%).

The study results were summarized as follows:

“By 26.10.2020 the registry had been used by 20,353 people. In this publication we report the results from the parents, who entered data on a total of 25,930 children. The average wearing time of the mask was 270 minutes per day.  Impairments caused by wearing the mask were reported by 68% of the parents. These included irritability (60%), headache (53%), difficulty concentrating (50%), less happiness (49%), reluctance to go to school/kindergarten (44%), malaise (42%) impaired learning (38%) and drowsiness or fatigue (37%).”

The childrens’ complaints were reported across 24 distinct symptoms as follows:

 

Total age group

Age group
 0-6 years

Age group
 7-12 years

Age group
 13-18 years

Test for difference

Headaches

13.811
 (53.3%)

960
 (24.0%)

7.863
 (54.6%)

4.988
 (66.4%)

p < 0.0001

Concentration difficulties

12.824
 (49.5%)

961
 (24.0%)

7.313
 (50.8%)

4.550
 (60.5%)

p < 0.0001

Discomfort

10.907
 (42.1%)

1.040
 (26.0%)

6.369
 (44.2%)

3.498
 (46.5%)

p < 0.0001

Impairment in learning

9.845
 (38.0%)

621
 (15.5%)

5.604
 (38.9%)

3.620
 (48.2%)

p < 0.0001

drowsiness / tiredness

9.460
 (36.5%)

729
 (18.2%)

5.163
 (35.8%)

3.568
 (47.5%)

p < 0.0001

Tightness under the mask

9.232
 (35.6%)

968
 (24.2%)

5.427
 (37.7%)

2.837
 (37.7%)

p < 0.0001

Feeling of shortness of breath

7.700
 (29.7%)

677
 (16.9%)

4.440
 (30.8%)

2.583
 (34.4%)

p < 0.0001

Dizziness 

6.848
 (26.4%)

427
 (10.7%)

3.814
 (26.5%)

2.607
 (34.7%)

p < 0.0001

Dry neck

5.883
 (22.7%)

516
 (12.9%)

3.313
 (23.0%)

2.054
 (27.3%)

p < 0.0001

Syncope

5.365
 (20.7%)

410
 (10.2%)

2.881
 (20.0%)

2.074
 (27.6%)

p < 0.0001

Unwillingness to move, unwillingness to play

4.629
 (17.9%)

456
 (11.4%)

2.824
 (19.6%)

1.349
 (17.9%)

p < 0.0001

Itching in the nose

4.431
 (17.1%)

513
 (12.8%)

2550
 (17.7%)

1.368
 (18.2%)

p < 0.0001

Nausea

4.292
 (16.6%)

310
 (7.7%)

2.544
 (17.7%)

1.438
 (19.1%)

p < 0.0001

Feeling of weakness

3.820
 (14.7%)

300
 (7.5%)

2.020
 (14.0%)

1.500
 (20.0%)

p < 0.0001

Abdominal pain

3.492
 (13.5%)

397
 (9.9%)

2.292
 (15.9%)

803
 (10.7%)

p < 0.0001

Accelerated respiration

3.170
 (12.2%)

417
 (10.4%)

1.796
 (12.5%)

957
 (12.7%)

p < 0.0001

Disease feeling

2.503
 (9.7%)

205
 (5.1%)

 

1.328
 (9.2%)

970
 (12.9%)

p < 0.0001

Tightness in the chest

2.074
 (8.0%)

161
 (4.0%)

1.122
 (7.8%)

791
 (10.5%)

p < 0.0001

Flickering eyes

2.027
 (7.8%)

149
 (3.7%)

1.047
 (7.3%)

831
 (11.1%)

p < 0.0001

Loss of appetite

1.812
 (%)

182
 (4.5%)

1.099
 (7.6%)

531
 (7.1%)

p < 0.0001

tachycardia, stumbling heart stings

1.459
 (5.6%)

118
 (2.9%)

766
 (5.3%)

575
 (7.6%)

p < 0.0001

Noise in the ears

1.179
 (4.5%)

107
 (2.7%)

632
 (4.4%)

440
 (5.9%)

p < 0.0001

Short-term impairment of consciousness / fainting spells

565
 (2.2%)

39
 (1.0%)

274
 (1.9%)

252
 (3.4%)

p < 0.0001

Vomiting

480
 (1.9%)

40
 (1.0%)

296
 (2.1%)

144
 (1.9%)

p < 0.0001

The table below shows the parents’ point of view on behavior changes in their children as a result of wearing masks: 

 

Total age group

Age group
 0-6 years

Age group
 7-12 years

Age group
 13-18 years

Test for difference

The child is more often irritated than usual

11 364
 (60.4%)

1 041
 (40.0%)

6 566
 (62.1%)

3 757
 (66.5%)

p < 0.0001

The child is less cheerful

9 286
 (49.3%)

959
 (36.9%)

5 640
 (53.3%)

2 687
 (47.6%)

p < 0.0001

The child no longer wants to go to school/kindergarten

8 280
 (44.0%)

824
 (31.7%)

5 168
 (48.9%)

2 288
 (40.5%)

p < 0.0001

The child is more restless than usual

5 494
 (29.2%)

773
 (29.7%)

3 515
 (33.2%)

1 206
 (21.4%)

p < 0.0001

The child sleeps worse than usual

5 849
 (31.1%)

633
 (24.3%)

3 507
 (33.2%)

1 709
 (30.3%)

p < 0.0001

No other abnormalities

7 103
 (27.4%)

1 400
 (35.0%)

3 834
 (26.6%)

1 869
 (24.9%)

p < 0.0001

The child has developed new fears

4 762
 (25.3%)

713
 (27.4%)

2 935
 (27.8%)

1 114
 (19.7%)

p < 0.0001

The child sleeps more than usual

4 710
 (25.0%)

319
 (12.3%)

2 183
 (20.6%)

2 208
 (39.1%)

p < 0.0001

The child plays less

2 912
 (15.5%)

400
 (15.4%)

1.998
 (18.9%)

514
 (9.1%)

p < 0.0001

The child has a greater urge to move than usual

1 615
 (8.6%)

253
 (9.7%)

1.124
 (10.6%)

238
 (4.2%)

p < 0.0001

The authors of the ended their report with the following concluding remarks: 

“Many children are subject to great challenges and families try to master these as best they can. While the proportion of people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and also the number of intensive care patients in Germany is high in many places, we report here on a relatively small, unrepresentative problem: several thousand children who seem to suffer from wearing the mask or who may experience health problems from the mask. Our study provides the basis for a representative survey on which a precise benefit-risk analysis of mask wearing in children can be built.”  

FURTHER READING AND A CRITICAL CALL TO ACTION

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