There are four main types of malaria. These are vivax, falciparum, malariae and ovale. They are commonly called beign tertian malaria, quartan malaria, maligant tertian malaria and tertian fever. The most common symptom of all types of malaria is high fever, which may come every day, on alternate days or every fourth day. The fever is accompanied by chills, headache, shivering and pain in the limbs. The temperature comes down after sometime with profuse sweating.
The onset of malaria in children is usually gradual. The child becomes dull and restless. He is disinterested in food and often vomits. Other common symptoms are abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhoea. The temperature may rise between 38 and 40oC. The fever may be continuous or may come in intervals. The child may have still neck and convulsions in case of high fever.
One of the main effects of malaria is anaemia, which develops more rapidly in children. Other complications of the disease are kidney failure and dysentery.
The child-parent should be kept in bed. He should be given plenty of fluids, especially orange juice diluted in warm water for the first few days of the treatment. An ice bag should be applied to his head. Co-operative children can be given warm-water enema daily during this period to cleanse the bowels. After the fever has subsided, the patient may be placed for one or two days on an exclusive diet of fresh juicy fruits such as orange, grapes, grape-fruit, apple, pineapple, mango and papaya. Milk may be added to the fruit-diet after this period and this diet may be continued for further few days. Thereafter, the patient may be allowed gradually to embark upon a well-balance diet of natural foods, consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits, with emphasis on whole grain cereals, fresh fruits and raw or lightly-cooked vegetables.
The child-patient should avoid tea, coffee, refined and processed foods, fried foods, condiments, pickles, white sugar, white flour and all products made from them. He should also avoid flesh foods.
The best way to reduce temperature naturally, during the course of the fever, is by means of the cold pack, which can be applied to the whole body. The procedure for this pack has been explained in the Appendix.
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Diarrhoea in children is of two types,..
Abdominal pain, a feeling of undue ..
Dysentery in children may be acute ...