July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month and the Arthritis Foundation is focusing on increasing awareness of early signs and symptoms of juvenile arthritis and resources available for families affected by the disease.
Arthritis is one of the most common chronic illnesses affecting children, yet it often goes undetected or misdiagnosed when symptoms first appear.
Often a child complaining of achy joints is diagnosed as having “growing pains,” a phenomenon believed to be the result of the natural growth process.
However, studies are showing that joint pain, stiffness and swelling in or around the joint, may be early signs of a serious, inflammatory rheumatic disease.
“When joint pain, swelling or stiffness occurs in one or more of your child’s joints for at least six weeks, it’s important not to assume these symptoms are temporary, and to get a proper diagnosis from a pediatric arthritis specialist,” says Arthritis Foundation Vice President of Public Health Policy and Advocacy, Dr. Patience White.
“Early medical treatment of juvenile arthritis can prevent serious, permanent damage to your child’s joints and enable her to live an active, full childhood,” White explains.
Contrary to general belief, infants, children and teenagers can get arthritis. Approximately 300,000 children are affected by juvenile arthritis.
In a continued effort to reduce the burden of juvenile arthritis, disability, and cost of this chronic disease, the Arthritis Foundation is leading the way to conquer this disease through:
- Awareness and support
While there is no known cure, there has never been a more optimistic outlook for children with juvenile arthritis. Advances in research have produced new treatments that moderate and even stop the effects of juvenile arthritis, preventing significant disability in later years.
Source: Arthritis Foundation
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