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As Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month comes to a close, many still may be unaware of the disease. What are the symptoms? How prevalent is it, and what resources are available for affected children?
The word “arthritis” is actually a broad term that covers over 100 musculoskeletal disorders, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Juvenile arthritis is among them. More common than most people think, the condition actually affects almost 300,000 children in the United States. This makes juvenile arthritis more common than juvenile diabetes and cystic fibrosis combined. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), juvenile idiopathic arthritis is one of the most prevalent types of arthritis among people under the age of 18. Other common forms include juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile chronic arthritis.
On the whole, the condition affects girls more often than boys. The CDC