Mom and Dad are often concerned about joint pain in their kid. Here are few things parents must know:

1. Do children develop arthritis?

Children do develop arthritis. Arthritis means swelling of the joint. These group of disorders are more common in adults and the elderly; unfortunately, children are not protected. 

2. My child has joint pain? What should I do?

Pain in limbs and joints in growing children is a common problem. These children have “growing pains. The pain is usually worse in the evening and night hours. This is not something to bother and children would outgrow as they grow. Supplementation with Vitamin D and calcium benefits these children. 

3.  My child has joint pain? Should I bother?

If children with joint pains have following problems, they require urgent evaluation

  1. Joint pain is associated with joint swelling
  2. Child is limping
  3. The child wakes up with severe pain in the middle of the night
  4. Fever along with joint pain
  5. The child is unable to walk in the morning hours and joints feel stiff
  6. There is rash over skin with joint pain

In all such situations, it is advisable to meet a nearby paediatrician or a pediatric rheumatologist.  

4.  My child is on regular treatment for arthritis. Is there anything I need to bother about?

Children who are being treated for arthritis and are regular with their medicines do well. Exercise/physiotherapy form a very important part of their treatment. These children are at risk of developing uveitis. Uveitis is inflammation in the eye. If not diagnosed in time, these children develop cataract and their vision is seriously compromised. Thus, in all children being treated for arthritis, periodic eye evaluation is recommended.