How to help a Child

Children living with Juvenile Arthritis often feel isolated and alone. We get many letters, emails and calls each day that they as a family and child felt very alone and isolated until they came across Kids Arthritis’ Australian First support services and events.

The most important aspect to a child is to be caring and supportive of them. Don’t ignore their cry for help, remember they sometimes have no control over how they’re feeling and look up to you for support to let them know what’s wrong. We know that sometimes we can’t offer this, but reassure that they’re not the only child feeling this way and dealing with this. Sarah has spent her life alone, not knowing anyone else living with JIA as severely as she does. No child deserves to live like this.

Kids Arthritis provides child friendly videos and information that they can read and know that they’re not alone living with their Arthritis.Baby Sarah 17months

The one questions Sarah never liked growing up living with Juvenile Arthritis,

“How are you feeling?”

This just allows a child to cover up their emotions and answer with a simple,

“I’m fine.” and continue playing.

Below Sarah has complied a few questions that you could ask a child living with Juvenile Arthritis instead.

  • “Are your joints in pain today?”
  • “Show me where you are hurting today?”
  • “What activities have you done today?”
  • “On a scale of 1 to 5 how much pain do you have today?”
  • “What medications do you take?”

All these questions are open which means that their response must be longer than a simple yes or no. These simple yet informative questions may allow the child to feel comfortable around you over a period of time and you never know they may just tell you how they’re feeling without you asking.

Be open and supportive and the child will over time learn how to open up and inform you how they’re feeling. Just remember sometime they themselves don’t know how they’re feeling or what’s happening so allow for this and educate yourself through speaking with specialist and reading through our information and blogs on what it’s really like living with Juvenile Arthritis.