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Juvenile Arthritis

Nearly 300,000 kids and teens in the United States are affected by juvenile arthritis (JA). JA is a term used to describe many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children under the age of 16. - (

What is Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis (JA), also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, isn’t a specific disease. It’s an umbrella term to describe the inflammatory and rheumatic diseases that develop in children under the age of 16. These conditions affect nearly 300,000 kids and teens in the United States.

Most kinds of JA are autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases. That means the immune system, which is supposed to fight against foreign invaders like viruses and germs, gets confused and releases inflammatory chemicals that attack healthy cells and tissue. In most JA cases this causes joint inflammation, swelling, pain and tenderness, but some types of JA have few or no joint symptoms or only affect the skin and internal organs. (

Signs and Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis?

Symptoms may come and go over time. There may be times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Joint pain

  • Swelling

  • Fever

  • Stiffness

  • Rash

  • Fatigue (tiredness)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Inflammation of the eye

  • Difficulty with daily living activities such as walking, dressing, and playing

(Source: CDC)

Did You Know...

  • Arthritis in children is treatable. It is important to seek treatment from health care professionals who are knowledgeable about childhood arthritis.

  • Most children with arthritis can expect to live normal lives.

  • Some children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) will have their disease go into remission.

  • Federal and state programs may provide assistance with school accommodations or services. Ask your rheumatology team about summer camps and opportunities to meet other children with arthritis.

  • Except in rare circumstances, JIA is not directly inherited from the mother or father.


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