The most common signs and symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are:
- Pain. While your child might not complain of joint pain, you may notice that he or she limps — especially first thing in the morning or after a nap.
- Swelling. Joint swelling is common but is often first noticed in larger joints like the knee.
- Stiffness. You might notice that your child appears clumsier than usual, particularly in the morning or after naps.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can affect one joint or many. In some cases, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body — causing swollen lymph nodes, rashes and fever.
Like other forms of arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by times when symptoms flare up and times when symptoms disappear.
When to see a doctor
Take your child to the doctor if he or she has joint pain, swelling or stiffness for more than a week — especially if he or she also has a fever.
Oct. 20, 2011
- Questions and answers about juvenile arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Juv_Arthritis/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 24, 2011.
- Wu EY, et al. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Aug. 24, 2011.
- Arthritis in children. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/juvenilearthritis.asp. Accessed Aug. 24, 2011.
- Juvenile arthritis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00075. Accessed Aug. 25, 2011.
- Mason TG (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 26, 2011.
- Lehman TJ. Polyarticular onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 25, 2011.
- What is life with juvenile arthritis like? Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/life-with-juvenile-arthritis.php. Accessed Aug. 25, 2011.
- Juvenile Arthritis Alliance. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/juvenile-arthritis-alliance.php. Accessed Aug. 25, 2011.
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