Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood affecting approximately 1 in 1000 Canadian children. Children and adolescents that have arthritis have to cope with swelling in their joints, pain, difficulty walking, going upstairs, using their hands and manipulating objects. These difficulties may interfere with age-appropriate daily activities such as playing with friends, doing their favorite sport and physical activity, getting dressed, both at home and at school. Sometimes, these difficulties last well into adulthood.
Overview For Parents
- Ask your child about their preferences in physical activity. Communicate these preferences to your health care team to find appropriate activities.
- Remind them that physical activity is important and can help their symptoms, even if being active may seem difficult at times.
- Encourage them to find activities they like and can practice on their own or with friends and family.
Overview For Clinicians
- Clinicians can encourage participation in physical activity by matching the child’s interests with age and symptom appropriate activities
- Closely monitor symptom alleviation or worsening of symptoms when practicing certain types of physical activity. Adapt or recommend new activities when needed.