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Publication Date: 13 October 2010
Arthritis Care has launched three new factsheets on juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) at this year’s British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) annual conference.
The new factsheets on oligoarticular JIA, polyarticular JIA and systemic JIA have been specifically developed for parents of children with arthritis. The factsheets outline the symptoms of JIA and explain what the conditions are – and how they are diagnosed and treated.
Kate Llewelyn, head of information services at Arthritis Care, said: ‘Arthritis Care’s new factsheets provide up-to-date information on JIA, along with tips on how to cope with the impact of the disease. We hope this information will help parents gain a better understanding of how arthritis affects their children. Parents may also wish to contact our free Helpline for support, and to find out whether we have any workshops for young people in their area.’
Sharon Whiffen, who is a parent of a child with arthritis, said: ‘The factsheets are helpful, simple guides to the symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. They will help to guide children with arthritis and make them understand what is happening. As a parent, I think the factsheets will reassure children that they are not alone.’
Lennina Alban, 26, whose daughter Sienna has JIA, said: ‘My four-year-old daughter has arthritis, and I have found the factsheets to be particularly informative. I focus on the things that make her life better. She enjoys school and the daily physiotherapy really helps.
‘It is important to keep positive. There are few things worse than the thought of your child in constant pain, but it need not be the basis for your child’s life. My daughter is bright and happy, and the good days outnumber the bad. That is what is important.’
Arthritis Care developed the factsheets in consultation with Dr Janet McDonagh, an expert in paediatric and adolescent rheumatology in Birmingham, and Dr Richard Hull, chair of Arthritis Care’s clinical and medical advisory group. The charity also consulted parents of children and young people with JIA to find out what information they wanted on living with the condition.
Arthritis is often called a ‘hidden disease’ – while it is painful, no one else can see it. It affects around 12,000 children in UK.
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