The monthly “Did you know…” information provided by the Health and Wellness Ministry
About 1 child in every 1,000 develops some type of chronic arthritis. These disorders can affect children at any age, although rarely in the first six months of life. It is estimated that around 300,000 children in the United States have been diagnosed with the condition.
- Arthritis in children is treatable. It is important to seek treatment from health care professionals who are knowledgeable about childhood arthritis.
- In spite of their diagnosis, most children with arthritis can expect to live normal lives.
- Some children with juvenile arthritis have their disease go into remission.
- Federal and state programs may provide assistance with school accommodations or services. Ask the rheumatology team about summer camps and opportunities to meet other children with arthritis.
- Except in rare circumstances, this condition is not directly inherited from the mother or father.
There are many terms used to describe a child with chronic arthritis. These include juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Juvenile arthritis may involve one or many joints and can also cause silent eye inflammation. It can also cause other symptoms such as fevers or rash.
Typical symptoms include:
- stiffness when awakening
- reluctance to use an arm or leg
- reduced activity level
- persistent fever
- joint swelling
- difficulty with fine motor activities
Growing up with arthritis can be challenging. However, with care from a team of rheumatology professionals, most children with arthritis live full and active lives and are able to do everything their peers do. There are various types of chronic childhood arthritis, which can last from several months to many years. In every instance, early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid joint damage.