Malaria in babies-symptoms and treatment |Dr Mukesh Kumar| Paras Bliss Hospital

Malaria in Babies-symptoms and treatment

Malaria in Babies-symptoms and treatment

by: Dr. Mukesh Kumar
Consultant Paediatrician

Malaria is a serious illness which affects the young children and adults. The main symptom of malaria is high fever caused by bite of female Anopheles mosquito. It induces chills, fever, and flu like symptoms in toddlers and babies. Malaria can be treated but it requires prompt action. If the infection is severe then it may lead to serious complications like seizures, coma, kidney failures and death.

Malaria Prevention – ABCD

ABCD method is recommended for malaria prevention.

  • A  stands for awareness
  • B for bite prevention
  • C for chemoprophylaxis
  • D for diagnosis and treatment


Signs and symptoms of Malaria in children:

The newborn needs more protection, as they are more fragile. But the likely hood of malaria in the newborn is less in the first two months post birth. All the prenatal pills and a healthy diet a woman takes during her pregnancy time gives a good level of immunity to the baby. But as the baby grows, the baby loses its natural immunity and becomes more prone to disease like malaria.


Major symptoms that can be seen in children of less than 5 years of age are:

  • Chills
  • High fever
  • Shivering
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Rapid breathing
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stomach pain

Some children develop hypothermia in place of fever. Hypothermia refers to the condition when your child has a lower body temperature than normal. It occurs commonly among children of less than five years of age.

Signs and Symptoms of Malaria in Older Children:

For children who are older, the common symptoms that they experience are:

  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment of Malaria:

Blood tests are the best to confirm for malaria parasites. Even before getting results of blood test if your doctor has a doubt about malaria, then doctor starts treatment for the child while waiting for blood tests results.  If malaria is detected then your child will need:

  • Healthy food
  • Plenty of fluids and rest
  • Regular sponging to bring down fever
  • Infant paracetamol. Check your doctor for dosage

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