Youth and Family Services
Most people don’t realise that arthritis doesn’t just affect old people; kids get arthritis too. In Australia there are about 4600 kids under the age of 16 that have arthritis. 1
And it’s not just one type of arthritis – there are several types of arthritis that can affect kids. They all come under the heading juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This is a mouthful but if we break it down it makes more sense:
Juvenile – means it affects kids up to the age of 16 years of age,
Idiopathic – means that we don’t know what causes it,
Arthritis – means inflammation, pain and swelling in one or more joints, so joints may be painful, swollen and stiff.
Resources on juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Read our information on juvenile arthritis.
Arthritis Australia and the Australian Paediatric Rheumatology Group have developed several new information sheets relating to JIA. Access them here.
Information sheets on JIA are also available through the Royal Children’s Hospital website following a Commonwealth Government funded project. They provide information on medications, managing the impact of JIA and resources for teachers. There are sheets written specifically for children and young people, as well as adults.
Arthritis Ireland has great resources, videos and other information for kids (2-8), tweens (9-12), teens (13-17) and parents.
The Arthritis Foundation (USA) has a website for juvenile arthritis called Kids Get Arthritis Too.
How we can help
To help you and your family manage living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, MOVE muscle, bone & joint health provides a range of support services:
Fun days and social activities
Registered nurses are available on our Help Line to help you understand the medical information you may be given from your healthcare team, or that you find on the internet. They can also help you understand medications and treatments, and help you navigate through the complicated health and services systems. Contact the Help Line weekdays between 9.00am-4.00pm on 1800 263 265.
The Worst Pain in the World by Nicky Johnston
This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book offering practical advice for children living with pain, not just those with arthritis.
Kidsflix Movie Events
Kidsflix is a national project of Arthritis South Australia. Three times a year, MOVE families have the opportunity to enjoy a new release movie, popcorn and entertainment. Kidsflix is a free charity event for children and young people living with a chronic condition, disability or living in a disadvantaged situation. Along with their immediate family, siblings and carers they have a chance to experience a fun morning at the movies with other families in a similar situation.
If you would like to find out more about these services, call us on 8531 8000 (1800 263 265) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2008. Juvenile arthritis in Australia, AIHW, Canberra.