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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:

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  • 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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 05, 2012
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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