Identifying the early symptoms of JIA can be tricky; blood tests and imaging are frequently normal, and children may not even present with pain. On this page you will find a series of globally recognised assessment tools and reference sites to help you evaluate possible candidates. Our Doctor’s Guide to JIA offers a snapshot of the disease in South Africa, and our waiting room poster will highlight early symptoms to parents.

Quick overview

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has an estimated prevalence of between 1 and 4: 1,000. In South Africa that translates to between nineteen and seventy-five thousand children under sixteen years of age.

Children present differently to adults and are likely to test negative for anti-nuclear antibodies and rheumatoid factor. The absence of joint pain does not rule out juvenile arthritis; look for joint swelling.

Children with arthritis do best when treated by the most appropriate specialist: a paediatric rheumatologist.

Reference sites and assessment tools