Arthritis is commonly thought of as a condition that only affects older people. However, there are many different types of arthritis, some of which affect babies, children, teenagers and young adults. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the name given to a number of types of arthritis that occur in children.
In Australia about 6000 children are affected by arthritis (JIA) making it as common as Type 1 diabetes in children under 16 years of age. Another 4,000 children are affected by other rheumatic conditions (conditions which affect the joints, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscles).
Living with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions can be challenging not only for the child or young person affected, but also for their families and friends. Support is vital, as is understanding.