Malaria in Children: Recognizing Symptoms and Ensuring Prompt Treatment

July 14th, 2023 | 10:25 am


Malaria is a vector-borne disease spread by mosquitoes, which can cause various health problems in children, such as fever and chills. If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to extreme cases of health issues, including seizures, brain damage, breathing problems, organ failure, and even death. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to seek treatment for malaria, especially for children under the age of 5. When intervened upon promptly, malaria is treatable and curable.

This blog elaborates on recognizing malaria symptoms and promoting timely treatment of malaria in children.

Understanding Malaria in Children

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes. Mosquito bites from an infected person can introduce the parasite into the bloodstream of a healthy individual. Although rare, malaria can also be transmitted through blood transfusion from an infected person or from an infected pregnant mother to her child. There are five strains of the parasite that can cause malaria. Children under the age of 5 are more vulnerable to malaria than the older population due to their underdeveloped immune systems.

Symptoms of malaria in adults may include:

  • Fever, chills and sweating
  • Headache and body aches.
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain, breathing problems and cough
  • Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • General malaise

Malaria in children may present similar symptoms to those in adults, but they may also experience fever and chills in cycles of 2 or 3 days, depending on the parasite causing the infection. Additionally, they may exhibit additional signs in the early stages, such as irritability, drowsiness, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms may be followed by chills and then a bout of high fever accompanied by breathing difficulties or rapid breathing.

There may also be other symptoms of malaria common to both adults and children, which can include:

  • Abnormally large spleen.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Enlargement of the liver.

Common Symptoms of Malaria in Children

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, India has the fourth-highest number of malaria cases and deaths in the world. Therefore, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of malaria to prevent complications, particularly in children who are more vulnerable to such risks.

A. Fever and high body temperature

B. Chills and shaking

C. Headaches and body aches

D. Fatigue and weakness

Identifying Severe Malaria in Children

When left untreated or undiagnosed, malaria can progress to a severe case. In children, severe malaria may present the following symptoms:

  • Altered consciousness and confusion.
  • Seizures and convulsions.
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Anemia and jaundice.

Therefore, seeking prompt treatment is crucial, as severe malaria can rapidly escalate and lead to fatality.

Seeking Prompt Treatment for Malaria in Children

Early diagnosis is necessary once the symptoms of the fever cycle have been observed to ensure prompt treatment. If left untreated, severe malaria can cause life-threatening conditions in children.

The healthcare provider or treating doctor may ask about physical symptoms and medical history, and may also recommend blood tests to confirm the presence of the parasite. Once the presence of a malarial parasite has been determined, the doctor can provide a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

During the early stages, the doctor may prescribe medications to kill the malarial parasite. The type of malarial parasite present will determine the specific medication prescribed and the duration of treatment.

Prevention and Control Measures

Malaria can be prevented by following preventive measures to keep mosquitoes at bay.

  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin.
  • Use mosquito nets over beds, windows, and doors.
  • Spray indoors using mosquito repellent sprays to kill any mosquitoes that may have entered.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves to cover the skin when visiting areas with dense plantations.

Since there are currently no known vaccines against malaria, children may be given prophylaxis before traveling to malaria-infested areas. However, it is essential to consult with a doctor before giving any medication to children to ensure that it is the best option.

Supporting the Health and Well-being of Children with Malaria

Taking care of children with Malaria or availing best pediatric care from a trustworthy hospital like Giggles can make a huge difference in their recovery.

  • Feeding fresh vegetables and fruits can help improve immunity and fight off infections. Consulting with a pediatrician can help determine the right diet for a child.
  • Providing healthy drinks and fluids is also important.
  • Keeping the surroundings clean and preventing mosquitoes from entering the room is crucial.
  • When the child is experiencing fever, age-appropriate fever medication can help manage symptoms. Alternatively, a wet compress may also provide relief from temperature discomfort.

Follow-up visits to the doctor may be required to monitor the progress and remission of malaria. Once malaria is in remission by following a proper medication schedule, it is important to provide proper aftercare so that the child can regain vitality and strength, as malaria can have various effects on the body.

Maintain a healthy and balanced diet, and ensure that the surroundings are clean and protected against mosquitoes. Take proper care of any potted plants or plantations around the house to prevent the presence of malarial mosquitoes. Following necessary precautions is essential.


Malaria is a common and curable disease, but it can be fatal if left untreated, especially in children. Following preventive measures can help prevent malaria, but in case of contraction, early diagnosis is crucial to avoid complications.

For prompt diagnosis and treatment of malaria, visit Giggles Hospital in Hyderabad, where you can receive treatment from top pediatric malaria treatment doctors. You just need to Google pediatric specialists near me to get all the necessary information. Our team of consultants, surgeons, and other professionals are dedicated to providing the highest quality of treatment for a wide range of diseases, including malaria. 
We prioritize care and compassion, striving to contribute to a malaria-free society. When it comes to the best malaria treatment for children, trust Giggles Hospital, as we are committed to your children’s overall well-being in every aspect of life.