Arthritis that occurs in children is classified as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Juvenile means that the arthritis began before 16 years of age, idiopathic means that the cause is not known and arthritis means that one or more joints are inflamed – that is, they are swollen, painful, stiff and you may not be able to move them as far as normal.

There are different terms when referring to arthritis in children. These include Juvenile Arthritis, Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Still’s Disease, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. In general, there are five main types of JIA, these are systemic onset, oligoarthritis or pauciarticular, polyarticular, enthesitis related arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

The causes of arthritis in children are unknown. Research suggests that for some types of JIA, genetics may be involved. However, these conditions are not regarded as hereditary.

Juvenile Arthritis Camps

Our camps provide a barrier free outdoor experience which promotes personal growth and fosters independence. Campers are encouraged to try new experiences in order to gain self-confidence, learn cooperation and communication, increasing personal independence and self management in a safe and fun environment.

Campers get to participate in numerous activities throughout the camp. Previous camps have included rock climbing, fishing, snorkelling, arts and crafts, canoeing, archery, disco, sports, games and much more!

Children are supervised by medical staff as well as Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA volunteers who remain onsite for the duration of the camp. All supervisors and health professionals attending the camp have Working With Children checks.

Camp Freedom

Camp Freedom has been running since 1992 and is a fun filled six-day activity camp specifically designed for children aged between 7-17 years with Juvenile Arthritis related rheumatologic and inflammatory conditions.

Camp Freedom takes place in the first week of 3rd term school holidays.

Camp Stretch

Camp Stretch is a new camp that commenced in March 2018. It is a fun- filled four-day weekend camp specifically designed for children between 7-17 years old with Ehlers Danlos and other Hypermobility conditions.

Camp Stretch takes place during the April school holidays.

For enquiries please contact Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA on 1800 011 041 or email jiacamp@arthritiswa.org.au

Bones & Joints School Website

Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA (funded by a Telethon grant) have created an online bones and joints school website that supports families, encourages students and provides resources for teachers to get onto the long-term path to health.

For famillies, the website details suggestions on how to intergrate knowledge about health into everyday life together with colouring-in exercises, activities around the home, discussion topics and links to fun websites.

Basic information is provided for students to assist with assignments and homework and links are provided for further study.

There are also revision sheets to assist students to learn relevant vocabulary and even a friendly character, Calcious the Bonosaurus, who helps the students learn.

The website was created by Literacy Teacher Ms Trina Glover and Medical Professional Melanie Galbraith.

JIA Hydrotherapy

Aquatic exercise encourages range of motion, strength and fitness, with less stress on joints and is a beneficial form of exercise for children and teenagers with JIA. Classes are suitable for beginners and experienced participants; participants must be competent swimmers. Benefits include increased muscle strength, improved joint range of movement, improved co-ordination, balance and agility. Water exercise has been scientifically proven to enhance wellbeing.

The JIA Hydrotherapy Program is available to participants between the ages of 7 and 17 years, who are competent swimmers and able to enter and exit the pool unaided. This program is led by Physiotherapists, Nicole Pates and Emma Woods.

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