7 Preventive Measures To Avoid Malaria In Infants/Babies

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Malaria is a serious mosquito-borne illness. During monsoon when the possibility of contracting malaria is very high, it would be helpful to understand what causes the disease, especially in children under the age of five. Children are the first vulnerable group that fall prey easily to malaria than the rest.

Causes Of Malaria:

Malaria is a deadly disease transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Alternatively, a blood transfusion of infected blood is also said to cause malaria.

  • Mosquitoes make the rainy season a breeding ground, and hence the chances are that there is a threat of malaria around your house, no matter how much you mosquito proof the surroundings.
  • A single bite of the potent mosquito can spread the infection to your little one.
  • Mosquitoes that cause malaria are said to bite during the night time.
  • Malaria tends to spread more through mosquitoes than rest of the possible contaminants.

[ Read: Viral Fever In Infants ]

Who Are More Susceptible To Malaria?

If you have children in your home, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of malaria so that they are caught faster and the treatment can be started at the earliest.

  • Usually, malaria is more severe in the children under the age group of five.
  • Babies under the age group of two are less likely to contract infection as they are still protected by the internal immunity present since they were inside the womb.

Symptoms Of Malaria In Babies:

Symptoms start developing anytime between 10 days to 4 weeks after contracting infection via mosquito bite. Below are some strong signs and symptoms that you should not ignore:

  • Moderate to high fever
  • Severe chills and shivering
  • Cold
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Hypothermia – losing temperature rather than building fever
  • Breathlessness

[ Read: Dengue Symptoms In Babies ]

Treatment For Malaria In Babies:

Malaria if not treated on time can affect the brain function in babies. Once you identify the potential symptoms, report immediately to your baby’s doctor. Here

  • Your child’s pediatrician will start the treatment post confirmation from a blood test.
  • The sooner the signs are identified and escalated, the faster and effective the treatment will be.

Home Treatment Of Malaria In Infants:

Once your baby is put on effective medication, you have to also ensure the health and hygiene factors at home. Follow the below for your baby’s diet, health and safety:

  • A healthy diet with nutritious food.
  • Lots of rest.
  • Effective and frequent sponging in cases of high fever.
  • Admission in hospital in case of sudden convulsions, dehydration or fainting fits.
  • Follow the dosage of medicine carefully.

[ Read: Scarlet Fever in Infants ]

Malaria Prevention For Babies:

Staying clear of a mosquito bite is the first and foremost important measure to avoid the possibility of malaria infection in your baby. Here are some useful preventive measures that you can apply at home during the rainy season to protect your little one:

  1. Have a mosquito net at home, especially around the bed where your baby sleeps.
  2. Dressing in light colored clothing is said to help stay away from mosquitoes.
  3. Dwell in an air conditioned space at home where the mosquitoes will not be able linger around for a long period of time.
  4. Use a strong mosquito repellent that is effective in driving mosquitoes away. Use the repellent all over the house for best results.
  5. Using citronella oil in floor cleaning agents helps keep mosquitoes away.
  6. Install good mosquito meshes on the doors and windows of your house. You can also opt for detachable meshes and Velcro that are available in the market.
  7. While playing in the park, keep your baby away from suspicious bushes that can have mosquitoes breeding.

The above information should be useful in protecting your baby and the entire family from the wrath of malaria. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. Stay alert with mosquitoes during the rainy season.

If you have tips on how to banish mosquitoes from home, please share them with us!

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