Information for pre-schools, nurseries and early years practitioners

Early years practitioners, including those working in preschools and nurseries, can sometimes be the first to spot early symptoms in children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) in children. 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a long-term condition. It means that there is inflammation in one or more joints, which is not caused by an infection or injury. Symptoms begin before the age of 16.

Children with JIA have inflamed joints. 

Children with JIA can also develop uveitis, or inflammation of part of the eye. There are often no symptoms, but uveitis can cause permanent sight loss. It is very important that children who have JIA have specialist eye tests that can detect uveitis.

If you think a child has possible symptoms of JIA, it is really important that they tell the parents/carer and encourage them to visit a health professional. Not every child with joint pain or reduced mobility will have JIA. But every child with joint pain or reduced mobility should be assessed by a health professional promptly and thoroughly. You can help parents by being strong positive advocates, encouraging parents to keep going back to their health professionals if they are not satisfied with the answer they get. 

Pre-schools in the UK can request a free School Toolkit from Juvenile Arthritis Research, to enable them to confidently support a child with JIA in their setting.

My JIA front cover.

Download a copy of My JIA, a comprehensive guide to life with JIA. It includes a section packed full of information for schools, giving you tips on how you can support a child with JIA in your setting.