Questions About Daily Life With Jia

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.

What should I do if my child develops a new swollen joint?

It is important not to panic! You may well be able to manage the flare at home for a few days with the methods above as well as any pain medication they have been prescribed. If the flare does not settle down again or worsens, then you should contact your rheumatology team. They should have given you information about how/when is best to get hold of them and how quickly they might get back to you.

How do I explain JIA to my child?

It is important to remember that JIA is just one aspect of your child’s life. It does not define who they are and when it is well controlled, it should not prevent them from doing everything that they would like to do with their life. If your child is diagnosed at a fairly young age, you may find that you have to ‘re-explain’ JIA to them as they get older. Don’t forget that it is important to take the time to explain JIA to your child’s siblings if they have any. Siblings can often feel left out and it is easy to overlook that they may have questions too.

Should my child sill be allowed to do PE / exercise? Is it safe?

Firstly, please check with your child’s rheumatology team about your child doing PE, sport activities and exercise. The good news is physical activity is important for a child with JIA. In fact, it is better for them to be as active as possible to avoid their joints stiffening up. Children may need to pace themselves (and you may like to talk to school, and their sport coach about this) but there is no reason for them not to join in with as much of the PE/exercise as possible, even if it may have to be modified by the direction of rheumatology team. Children may also take a little longer to get moving in the morning so again it is worth considering the timing of any exercise and addressing this with school too.