Juvenile Arthritis Awareness: 4 Signs Your Child Might Have Arthritis

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When you think of arthritis, a disease that causes painful inflammation around joints, you tend to think of the elderly. The most common forms of arthritis do affect older people, but many types of arthritis affect people under the age of 16. Together, they are referred to as “juvenile arthritis.” According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 300,000 children in the United States suffer from different types of arthritis.

So how can you tell if your child has arthritis?

  • Joint pain. The most obvious sign of arthritis is joint pain. If your child is complaining of joint pain that will not go away, they may be suffering from arthritis in some form.
  • Rash. Certain types of juvenile arthritis will also trigger rashes around affected areas. Be on the lookout for rashes if you suspect your child has juvenile arthritis.
  • Inability to straighten joints. When a joint is painful, it become difficult or even impossible to straighten it all of the way. If your child is having a hard time straightening his or her arm, or leg, contact your primary care doctor and ask if you need to see a specialist.
  • Favoring one limb over another. If a joint is causing a child pain, she or he may favor one limb or side of her or his body over the other. If you notice your child is limping or favoring one arm over another, contact your doctor.

If you suspect your child has juvenile arthritis, your doctor will be able to help. Treatments for juvenile arthritis may include medicine, or even physical therapy to help your child return to healthy, normal activity. Schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor at Riley at IU Health if you have more questions.

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