Do your kids often get pain in their joints? Aching elbows and knees, excruciating discomfort in their wrists and ankles? The joints of our body are important instruments that allow us to walk, run, and move when doing everyday things. When this mechanism fails, for kids, painful joints can disrupt their playing and learning, which are important activities during childhood. We spoke with Dr Lim Sern Chin, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Rheumatologist at ParkCity Medical Centre to learn more about childhood joint pain and what parents can do to help their kids with this condition. Dr Lim Sern Chin, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Rheumatologist at ParkCity Medical Centre Q1: How is joint pain in kids different from adults? Kids can also have joint pain, but it might look different from how adults experience it. This is because children can't explain how they feel as well as adults. So instead of verbalising their symptoms, they may show they're in pain in other ways. This may include crying, not wanting to use a specific joint, walking funny, or holding their body in strange position. One big difference between kids and adults is that kids are still growing. Their bones, muscles, and joints are not fully developed. So, the diagnosis may not necessarily be as cut and dry in the way that it is for grown-ups. Q2: When should we worry about our child's joint pain? You should be worried if your child has ongoing joint pain and also has other issues like swelling, stiffness, changes in how active they are, or trouble doing daily things. If their joints hurt a lot at night in a way that makes it hard for them to sleep, that's also a big sign that something might be wrong. Q3: When should a child see a doctor for their joint pain? If your child has joint pain that won't go away, or if their joint is swollen, warm or red, it's a good idea to see a doctor. If the pain gets really bad or makes it hard for them to do things, they should see a doctor quickly. Also, if they're losing weight, not eating as much, have rashes, or a fever that won't go away, those are important signs to tell the doctor about too. Q4. Are some kids more likely to have joint pain? Some kids might be more likely to have joint pain. These could be due to their genes, family history of certain diseases or other health problems they may have. Also, kids who do intense sports or hard exercises might hurt their joints more. But really, any child can have joint pain; even if they don't fit into any of the previously mentioned criteria. Q5: How do you figure out why a child has joint pain? Diagnosing the cause of a child's joint pain involves a thorough medical history, physical examination, and often additional tests such as blood tests, imaging (X-rays, MRI), and sometimes joint fluid analysis. These tests help figure out if the pain is from an injury, an infection, an immune problem like juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or some other reason. Q6: Can a child still play with joint pain? Depending on how bad the joint pain is and what causes it, children can often still participate in physical activities. But if their joints are swollen and hurt, you need to be careful. Talk to a doctor to know when it's safe for them to play or do sports again. It's important to find the right balance between staying active and getting enough rest. Your child's doctor can help you figure that out. Q7: How can parents help if their child has joint pain? The first thing to do is take your child to a doctor if they experience joint pain. Once the doctor figures out what's wrong, they can start the right treatment. Parents should make sure their child follows the treatments and takes any medicine as directed. Besides that, parents can also help their child by being there emotionally. Talk about the pain and how they feel. Additionally, follow their doctor's advice about eating well and doing the recommended exercises. Q8: What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis and how is it different? Kids can get a special kind of arthritis called 'juvenile idiopathic arthritis' or JIA. It is the most common type of arthritis among children. JIA happens when a child's immune system causes their joints to get inflamed. It usually shows up before they're 16 years old. It can make one or many joints hurt, and also cause swelling, stiffness, and make it hard to move the joints. This kind of arthritis is not the same as the one an adult may get, and it's unique because it starts in childhood. As a result, it can affect joints in different ways. Q9: What can we do if their joint pain doesn't go away? If your child's joint pain doesn\u2019t go away, it's really important to talk to a doctor. The doctor might send your child to a special kind of doctor called a paediatric rheumatologist. These doctors can take a closer look at your child\u2019s symptoms, figure out exactly what's wrong, and make a plan to help. The plan might include medication, joint exercises or changing some things in their daily life. Also, keeping an eye on how things are going over time. Q10: Do you have success stories of kids getting better from joint pain? Yes. A lot of kids with joint pain, even from conditions like juvenile idiopathic arthritis, get better with the right treatment. When the problem is caught early and managed well, kids can feel a lot better and have a better life in the long run. It usually works out well when doctors give the right care, families help out, and the kids themselves stay strong and positive. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!