By: Mission Healthy Living
July 09, 2019
When you think about a person affected by arthritis, who do you picture? A middle-aged person? A senior clutching their hands in pain? What we don’t think about or realize is how many children (age 16 and under) suffer from juvenile arthritis (JA).
That’s exactly the point of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 300,000 kids nationwide suffer from some form of JA. When you think of the traditional activities kids engage in—especially playing—you see how devastating this disease can be to a person’s childhood.
JA doesn’t vary much from arthritis in people over the age of 16. It typically shows up as joint inflammation, but can also affect the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract. No exact cause is known for JA and diagnosing the disease—especially in children—can be difficult. There is no specific test, and symptoms might not show up, or they present in a way that seems to stem from another disease/cause.
Right now, there is no cure for JA, but it is treatable. It’s possible that a doctor will prescribe a combination of medications and exercise for a child. With treatment, some children are able to go into remission.
Here are some ways the Arthritis Foundation recommends spreading the word:
- Register for or donate to the Walk to Cure Arthritis
- Post how JA affects you or someone you know personally with the hashtag #StrongerThanJA on social media
- Start a fundraiser
Learn more ways to contribute on the Arthritis Foundation’s Get Involved page.