Useful Links & Resources

Questions About Diagnosis / Symptoms

What might I notice if my child has JIA?
You may notice swollen joint/s, warm joint/s, a new limp, a reluctance to use a limb or even a regression from walking to crawling. Pain is not always a feature and children often adapt movements so it can be difficult to spot. Even many GPs are not aware that it is a diagnosis that should be considered so it may help to raise it with them if you have suspicions.

Why?

Why did my child ger JIA?
Scientists believe that the causes of JIA are partly environmental and partly genetic. But some children develop JIA without having any other autoimmune diseases in the family. Parents often look to blame themselves, but JIA is NOT caused by anything you may have done or not done. Some parents feel that an illness or injury the child experienced was the cause of their child’s JIA. It may well be that the injury or illness was the trigger that caused the JIA to ‘awake’ but in reality, the JIA was there all the time and so the injury or illness was not the true cause. The main thing to remember is that now your child has a diagnosis, you are in a stronger place to treat their condition. What you do now in terms of helping them manage their condition is more important than anything that has gone before. 

Questions About Daily Life With Jia

What can I do to help control the inflammation/pain until it is controlled by the medication?
Alongside any medications that may have been prescribed by your team. there are several things that you can do at home to help your child. These include using heat/cold packs (some children prefer one over the other), keeping them active every day, encouraging them to pace themselves if they are already very active, giving them a warm bath or shower if they are feeling stiff. Look at the KWANZ ‘Practical tips for JIA’ for helpful ideas.

Questions About Eyes

Why does my child need an eye examination?
15 % of children who have JIA can develop inflammation in the eyes – also called uveitis. Uveitis rarely causes symptoms especially in younger children, so it is very important that ALL children who are diagnosed with JIA get their eyes checked within the first few months of their arthritis being diagnosed.

Questions About Treatment

I don’t think I can inject my child! What do I do?
When you have a child, the last thing you expect to have to do is give them an injection! However, don’t panic because other KWANZ parents feel the same way too, but quickly become used to this procedure until it feels quite normal! Talk with your rheumatology team about how you feel. You should always be offered training at the start. There may be alternative options depending where you live. Take time to make the right decision for your family about how and where the injections will be done.

Questions About Looking To The Future

What is the outlook for children/young people with JIA?
Modern medicine has made great progress in finding treatment options for JIA – this means that the vast majority of children with JIA can live a full and active life with JIA. Many children do incredibly well as you can see from our stories on our Kids With Arthritis in NZ, the children and teenagers go on to achieve amazing feats in sport, academia and all walks of life. While it might take some time to get it managed at the start and there may be a few ups and downs along the way, there is every reason to be positive once treatment is established and the condition is brought under control.