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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if:

  • Your child has sudden, unexplained swelling, redness, and pain in any joint or joints.
  • A baby or child is unusually cranky or reluctant to crawl or walk.
  • Red eyes, eye pain, and blurring or loss of vision occur in a child who has been diagnosed with any form of juvenile arthritis.

Call your doctor if any of the following symptoms continue for more than 2 days:

  • A child has unexplained daily fever spikes [103 °F (39.4 °C) to 106 °F (41.1 °C)] with or without a pink skin rash.
  • A baby or child is reluctant to crawl or walk in the early morning but improves after 1 to 2 hours.
  • A child taking aspirin or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) develops stomach pain not clearly related to stomach flu, but possibly related to medicine use. (Symptoms may include heartburn, nausea, or refusal to eat.)
  • Joint pain and skin rash develop following a sore throat.

It can be hard to know when an infant has joint pain. A young child may be unusually cranky or may revert to crawling after he or she has started walking. You may notice gait problems with a walking child or stiffness in the morning.

Who to see

For a first check of joint pain and other symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), consult with a:

For more testing and disease management, consult with a rheumatologist who specializes in children's rheumatic disease (pediatric rheumatologist).

The disease management team for JIA may also include:

  • An orthopedic surgeon who specializes in children's orthopedic problems (pediatric orthopedist).
  • Nurses.
  • Physical and occupational therapists.
  • A registered dietitian, as needed.
  • A social worker or psychologist, as needed.
  • A general dentist and an orthodontist, as needed.
  • An ophthalmologist.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 30, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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