Finding out your child has arthritis

Finding out that your child has arthritis can be a confusing and anxious time.

Your child’s diagnosis may have come as a huge shock, or perhaps it has been a long, difficult journey to find out the cause of their symptoms. A child being diagnosed with arthritis was never part of a family’s plans. The condition not only impacts the child with arthritis, but also parents, siblings and extended family members.

You will undoubtedly have lots of questions about what this means for your child, your family and the future.

In Australia, the types of arthritis that affect children are commonly referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA for short).

Our booklet Finding out your child has arthritis has been produced for parents, families and carers of children with JIA to answer some of the questions that other parents of children with JIA have struggled with, such as:

  • What JIA is, the different types and how your child may be affected
  • How JIA is diagnosed
  • Treatments for JIA
  • What you need to know about your child’s medicines
  • How to help your child manage pain
  • Keeping your child physically active
  • Staying healthy – sleep, rest, healthy eating
  • Managing school
  • Preparing for your child’s appointments
  • Helping your child to cope with the emotional impacts of arthritis
  • Teenagers and arthritis
  • Caring for the whole family.

With accurate early diagnosis and treatment, and advice from a supportive health care team, going to school, playing sport, being with friends, learning a musical instrument, and holidaying with the family should still be part of normal life for children with JIA.