The Arthritis Society handing back childhood to 24,000 kids living with arthritis

March 1, 2016
The Arthritis Society (The Society) estimates that as many as 24,000 Canadian children aged 18 and under live with a form of arthritis – that’s more than 3 out of every 1,000 kids. For the month of March, The Society is focusing on helping school-age children and their families live better with arthritis while we invest in the search for a cure.
We’ve reached out to children across the country that are living with Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), lupus, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other chronic diseases. This month, we’re helping them share their stories to increase awareness about the prevalence of childhood arthritis, and to raise more money for pediatric research so that we can make sure no child is left out of school or play because they’re in pain. (See the attached list of communities in which we have children available for interview.)
“Arthritis is often thought of as a disease associated with aging, but children get arthritis too,” says Janet Yale, president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “Our incredible donors are helping deliver improved testing and treatment protocols, increased investment in research, and impactful programs and services that will ease the burden of arthritis for children in Canada. But there’s more work to be done.”
To learn more about arthritis in children, or to help support research and programs targeted to childhood arthritis, visit

The facts:

  • While there is no cure for childhood arthritis, early diagnosis and an effective treatment plan including medication, physiotherapy, physical activity, and rest can control pain and help prevent permanent joint damage.
  • Children and teenagers can be affected by a variety of forms of arthritis, any of which can have potentially devastating effects on developing bodies. The most frequently diagnosed form is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), but lupus, psoriatic arthritis, vasculitis and other forms are also found. Osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis found in adults, is rare in children and teens.
  • Arthritis is one of the more common disorders resulting in chronic disability in Canadian children and teens[1]

Here are some of the ways our donors are helping children with arthritis:

  • Providing school-age children with specially-designed ergonomic backpacks filled with resources like a hot/cold therapy stuffed bear to ease swollen joints
  • Investing in ground-breaking pediatric research; and
  • Hosting summer camps for children living with arthritis in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia; and family days in some cities in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.

About The Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing more than $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program.  For more information and to make a donation, visit

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For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Monica Rossa  
National communications specialist – The Arthritis Society
416-979-3348 x3354

[1] Arthritis Community Research & Evaluation Unit (ACREU): Childhood Arthritis in Canada (Prepared for The Arthritis Society, 2013). 
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childhood arthritis hands scatter

Childhood Arthritis Month

As many as 24,000 Canadian children and teens live with arthritis, or more than three out of every 1,000 kids. The Arthritis Society wants to hand back childhood, and help these kids enjoy being kids.  Learn more