Useful Links & Resources - Why?


Why did my child get JIA?

Medical professionals and research 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.

How common is JIA?

Around 1 in 1000 children have JIA in developed countries such as the UK. We don't have statistics for New Zealand so the 1 in 1000 figure is used here too, which means that there will be about 1000 children in New Zealand with JIA. Because treatments are more effective nowadays however, it can be hard to know that someone has JIA and so you may not realise that others living near you may be dealing with the same condition.