Malaria spreads mostly by bite of infected mosquito. Growth of mosquitoes is higher in places where the climate is humid and warm. Africa is suitable for mosquitoes’ growth, so Africa has high rate of malaria cases. Research has shown that 85% of total of deaths in Africa are the children under age of fiver year old. It has also come to know that a child dies of malaria every minute in Africa. In Africa a child dies every minute of malaria. For children of age less than five year old, symptoms of malaria can be sleeplessness, cold, shivering, stomach pain, rapid breathing, poor appetite, drowsiness and irritability and vomiting. For children of more age, symptoms are like those found in adults. They are like flu-like symptoms. They include headaches, chills, body aches, high fever, shivering, nausea and vomiting.
Malaria can cause long term effects in children. Severe malaria can affect the function of brain. It is important to act quickly if a child is having malaria. There are preventive measures that can reduce the risk of malaria in children. They are:
- Children should be dressed in light color clothes. As dark color clothes attract mosquitoes.
- They should be dressed with full length garments to avoid skin exposure.
- Children should be kept in air conditioned or cool areas.
- Mosquitoes cannot live in cold places.
- Use of mosquito net while sleeping is also a good method to avoid malaria.
- Children should use citronella oil-based sprays or creams or other mosquito repellents.
- Mosquito meshes should be installed on doors and windows.
- Children should be kept away from bushes and hedges when in park because Mosquitoes are found at such places.
People should get rid of old flower pots, stagnant water, air coolers and other items where water get collected especially during monsoon season to avoid the children from malaria.