Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Awareness

/ 23/07/2012 /

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! With nearly 300,000 children in the U.S. affected by juvenile arthritis, this month serves to educate the public on the prevalence of arthritis and the impact it has on the young lives of those it afflicts.

What Is Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis (JA) encompasses the autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that develop in children 16 and younger. Symptoms can include muscle and soft tissue tightening, bone erosion, joint misalignment and changes in growth patterns.

The most common type of JA is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Depending on the unique symptoms of a child, he or she may be diagnosed within one of these categories of JIA:

  • Oligoarthritis: When four or fewer joints are involved within the first six months. Accounts for 40 percent of new JIA patients.
  • Polyarthritis: When five or more joints are involved during the first six months.
  • Systemic: Has the potential to involve the whole body. Symptoms may include a non-contagious fever, rash, and inflammation particularly of the spleen or the membranes that cover the lungs and heart. Comprises about 10 percent of JIA cases.
  • Enthesitis-related: Characterized by the inflammation of the enthuses, or sites where tendons attach to the bone.

juvenile arthritisResources for Kids and Teens Living with JA

There are tons of resources for children living with juvenile arthritis such as the Juvenile Arthritis Registry and an entire website exclusively for kids, tweens, and teens!

Re:sourxe Kids is a Re:sourxe by Sodexo concept designed especially for hospitals and campuses with a large pediatric presence. There are innovative products that offer therapeutic and developmental benefits to young patients -- toys and gifts made especially for kids!

You can also read more on JA at http://arthritis.org.