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A concerning study conducted in Germany has been posted online as a preprint (not yet peer-reviewed) titled, “Corona children studies "Co-Ki": First results of a Germany-wide registry on mouth and nose covering (mask) in children,” describing the results of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:
Impairment in learning
drowsiness / tiredness
Tightness under the mask
Feeling of shortness of breath
Unwillingness to move, unwillingness to play
Itching in the nose
Feeling of weakness
Tightness in the chest
Loss of appetite
tachycardia, stumbling heart stings
Noise in the ears
Short-term impairment of consciousness / fainting spells
The table below shows the parents' point of view on behavior changes in their children as a result of wearing masks:
The child is more often irritated than usual
The child is less cheerful
The child no longer wants to go to school/kindergarten
The child is more restless than usual
The child sleeps worse than usual
No other abnormalities
The child has developed new fears
The child sleeps more than usual
The child plays less
The child has a greater urge to move than usual
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."