Having arthritis may be a life-altering experience, but effort should be made to maintain as many of your child's daily routines and comforting habits as possible. Doing so will minimize the potential and natural emotional effects of your child's diagnosis. Your child may feel angry or sad about having arthritis. In addition, parents, siblings and other family members also have emotional reactions to the disease and its effect on the family. Learning to cope with emotional aspects of arthritis will benefit everyone. It is important to realize that emotional and social impairment may do more harm long-term to your child than the disease itself if not addressed early and appropriately. Learn more about...
- Emotional coping
- Family Dynamics
- Traveling and Vacation
- Introducing Sports and Preventing Sports Injuries
Children with arthritis should attend school regularly and not be isolated from other children of the same age. However, you chld may need special materials and services to get along in school. Regular attendance should be expected be expected despite morning stiffness or pain.
It is important that you educate your child's teachers, the school nurse and the principal about arthritis and its effects on your child. A member of your child's health-care team may be able to help. Learn more about helping your child be successful in school.
Activities, Sports and Exercise
Recreational activities help your child exercise joints and muscles, develop important social skills, and have fun. But remember that recreational activities do not take the place of therapeutic exercise. Participating in sports and recreational activities help children with arthritis develop confidence in their physical abilities. Encourage activities such as swimming and bike riding that exercise the joints and muscles without putting too much weight-bearing stress on the joints. Activities such as jumping on a trampoline and jogging are generally not recommended. However, even aggressive sports like soccer and basketball may not be off limits for your child, if their arthritis is well controlled. Special exercises and protective equipment can further reduce risk of injury.
Read more about special considerations for children with JA who participate in sports. Also learn about injury prevention for all children participating in sports.
Most of our local offices have camps and other actiivities available for children and teens who have juvenile arthritis. Locate the office nearest you to find out what's going on in your area.
Take a look at one of our camps: