Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

A child with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is an inflammation of the joints that’s characterized by swelling, heat, and pain. It’s the most prevalent form of juvenile arthritis (arthritis in kids) and one of the most undertreated childhood conditions. Formerly called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (or JRA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affects about 300,000 children in the United States.

At Nemours, we use the most advanced therapies to treat kids with JIA and we’re working hard on the front lines of research to develop new treatments that offer new hope for you and your child.

Learn More About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
Important Facts About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can appear in children as young as 6 months old.
  • The precise cause of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is unknown, but research suggests that it may occur when a child who’s genetically prone to the condition comes in contact with an environmental factor (like a virus or bacteria) that triggers the immune system.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is not contagious or hereditary. So there’s nothing you or your child did or didn’t do to cause it.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is distinctly different from adult forms of arthritis, most notably rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • A confirmed juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) diagnosis requires ruling out many other possible conditions, including infection, endocrine disorders, cancers and other rheumatic disorders. It can take 6 weeks or more to confirm.
  • There is no cure for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) yet, but the inflammation that causes the pain can be controlled with medication.