Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) refers to arthritis in childhood. It can affect children from the age of six months to 16 years. The majority of children with JIA only have a few joints that are affected – usually knees, ankles, wrists and fingers. Some children with JIA have many joints affected. JIA can also affect the skin, tendons, muscles and eyes.
The incidence of JIA in Australia is 1 in 1000 children.
What causes JIA?
The body has an immune system that fights disease. In JIA, the body mistakes normal joints as foreign and attacks the joints. It is not understood how or why this happens.
Is there a cure for JIA?
There is no cure for JIA. However, with treatment and support most JIA can be controlled and children can lead full and active lives. Symptoms can last for months or years. Sometimes the symptoms go away on their own. This is called remission. Approximately half of children with JIA go into remission before they reach adulthood.
How is JIA managed?
Once a diagnosis of JIA is made, the doctor will coordinate a treatment plan that will most likely include exercise and medications to control the inflammation of the joints. Treatment may be altered as the JIA changes over time.
What can Arthritis Queensland do for children with JIA and their families?
Educators at Arthritis Queensland provide support to children with JIA and their families. Specific information is available for parents, children and teachers.
Contact Arthritis Queensland on 1800 011 041 and ask to speak to the Juvenile Arthritis Educator, or please send an email through for specific information.
Benign Hypermobility Syndrome - www.hypermobility.org
Thanks to Arthritis Care (UK), the 'My child has arthritis, a practical guide for parents' booklet is available to download for free at their website, along with other useful booklets on JIA.
Livewire.org.au, an initiative of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, provides safe and supportive online communities for families affected by serious illness, chronic health condition or disability.
Livewire is a free, safe and fun online community designed especially for young people, aged over 10 and under 21, living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability. It’s a place where they can hang out, connect, share experiences, creatively express themselves and know that they are not alone. This site is also for the siblings of children with a chronic health conditon or disablity.
MontroseAccess provides therapy, respite, and other support services for clients with predominantly physical disabilities. Principal groups of diagnoses are Neuromuscular conditions and arthritis.