Kids get arthritis too, and every July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. However, juvenile arthritis is not one disease, but a combination of various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that are developed in children under 16 years of age. They include:
– Juvenile (childhood) Idiopathic (unknown cause) Arthritis
– Juvenile Lupus
– Juvenile Scleroderma
– Juvenile Fibromyalgia
While the cause of juvenile arthritis is unknown, researchers think there is a genetic relationship.
Generally, children who have juvenile arthritis later generally develop the same type of adult arthritis. Further, juvenile arthritis occurs in more girls than boys, and there are about 300,000 children with juvenile arthritis in the U.S.
Symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Key signs and symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are:
- Pain – Especially after sleeping or otherwise not moving for a period of time;
- Swelling – Especially in larger joints;
- Stiffness – Especially associated with clumsiness after being immobile for a period of time.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can affect one joint or many joints, often large joints, and may be associated with rashes, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. In addition, symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis may sometimes flare up, and sometimes disappear.
When to See a Doctor for Juvenile Arthritis: If a child has joint pain, swelling of stiffness for more than one week, especially also with fever, the child should be taken to a doctor for evaluation.
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