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Kids get arthritis too - Media release - 16 March 2015

Kid’s arthritis – as common as childhood diabetes – and seriously under recognised and resourced.

Kids with painful and disabling arthritis face long delays in diagnosis, and serious shortages of treatment and support services 

“We’re talking about childhood arthritis – known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and it affects at least 6000 Australian children,” says Associate Professor Davinder Singh-Grewal of the University of Sydney. 

“Ronan was diagnosed at two, but has been unwell and in pain virtually since he was born,” explains his father Scott Milne. “As a baby Ronan was constantly crying and his temperature was always high. The doctors told us it was viral and it took months and months to get the right diagnosis – that it was JIA and his immune system was attacking his joints.”

“This is all too common a story,” says Franca Marine, National Policy Manager for Arthritis Australia. “We know that the sooner JIA is diagnosed and treated the better, but our research has shown that many children with JIA have their symptoms a long time before they’re diagnosed. And during that time the joints can be seriously damaged.”

“Arthritis Australia is aiming to raise awareness of this painful disabling condition. We are releasing a five point plan to address ‘what needs to be done’ about childhood arthritis.


1.              Fund paediatric rheumatology training in Australia

2.              Expand public paediatric rheumatology services

3.              Develop JIA information and educational materials for health care professionals

4.              Develop comprehensive JIA consumer resources

5.              Fund research into a cure


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Reviewed and updated March 2015

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