What types of signs and symptoms are common in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?

Answers from April Chang-Miller, M.D.

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 and is often first noticed in larger joints, such as 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.

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.

Jun. 19, 2014 See more Expert Answers