Author Archives: Corporate Communications

Dimensions Health / University of Maryland Partnership Briefing

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Gladys Spellman Nursing Ctr Receives Hyattsville Award

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It’s Closer Than You Think…

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World Hepatitis Day – July 28th

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Juvenile Diabetes Awareness Month

What Is Juvenile Arthritis?

Children can get arthritis just like adults. Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints. It causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of motion. Juvenile arthritis is the term used to describe arthritis in children. The most common type that children get is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (idiopathic means “from unknown causes”). There are other forms of arthritis affecting children, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Who Gets Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis affects children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. About 294,000 American children under age 18 have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.

What Causes Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis is usually an autoimmune disorder. As a rule, the immune system helps fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. But in an autoimmune disorder, the immune system attacks some of the body’s healthy cells and tissues. Scientists don’t know why this happens or what causes the disorder.

Some think it’s a two-step process in children: something in a child’s genes (passed from parents to children) makes the child more likely to get arthritis, and something like a virus then sets off the arthritis.

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Juvenile Arthritis?

The most common symptoms of juvenile arthritis are joint swelling, pain, and stiffness that doesn’t go away. Usually it affects the knees, hands, and feet, and it’s worse in the morning or after a nap.

Other signs include:

  • Limping in the morning because of a stiff knee
  • Excessive clumsiness
  • High fever and skin rash
  • Swelling in lymph nodes in the neck and other parts of the body.

Most children with arthritis have times when the symptoms get better or go away (remission) and other times when they get worse (flare).

Arthritis in children can cause eye inflammation and growth problems. It also can cause bones and joints to grow unevenly.

How Do Doctors Find Out if Your Child Has Juvenile Arthritis?

There is no easy way a doctor can tell if your child has juvenile arthritis. Doctors usually suspect arthritis when a child has constant joint pain or swelling, as well as skin rashes that can’t be explained and a fever along with swelling of lymph nodes or inflammation in the body’s organs. To be sure that it is juvenile arthritis, doctors depend on many things, which may include:

  • Physical exam
  • Symptoms
  • Family history
  • Lab tests
  • X rays.

Who Treats Juvenile Arthritis?

A team approach is the best way to treat juvenile arthritis. It is best if a doctor trained to treat these types of diseases in children (a pediatric rheumatologist) manages your child’s care.

However, many children’s doctors and “adult” rheumatologists also treat children with arthritis. Other members of your child’s health care team may include:

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Counselor or psychologist
  • Eye doctor
  • Dentist and orthodontist
  • Bone surgeon
  • Dietitian
  • Pharmacist
  • Social worker
  • Rheumatology nurse
  • School nurse.

How Is Juvenile Arthritis Treated?

Doctors who treat arthritis in children will try to make sure your child can remain physicallyactive. They also try to make sure your child can stay involved in social activities and have an overall good quality of life. Doctors can prescribe treatments to reduce swelling, maintain joint movement, and relieve pain. They also try to prevent, identify, and treat problems that result from the arthritis. Most children with arthritis need a blend of treatments – some treatments include drugs, and others do not.

How Can You Help Your Child Live Well With Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis affects the whole family. It can strain your child’s ability to take part in social and after-school activities, and it can make schoolwork more difficult. Family members can help the child both physically and emotionally by doing the following:

  • Get the best care possible.
  • Learn as much as you can about your child’s disease and its treatment.
  • Insist that your child take the treatment.
  • Consider joining a support group.
  • Treat your child as normally as possible.
  • Encourage exercise and physical therapy for your child.
  • Work closely with your child’s school.
  • Talk with your child.
  •  Work with therapists or social workers.

Do Children With Juvenile Arthritis Have to Limit Activities?

Pain sometimes limits what children with juvenile arthritis can do. However, exercise is key to reducing the symptoms of arthritis and maintaining function and range of motion of the joints. Ask your health care provider for exercise guidelines. Most children with arthritis can take part in physical activities and certain sports when their symptoms are under control.

Swimming is a good activity because it uses many joints and muscles without putting weight on the joints.

During a disease flare, your child’s doctor may advise your child to limit certain activities. It will depend on the joints involved. Once the flare is over, your child can return to his or her normal activities.

What Are Researchers Trying to Learn About Juvenile Arthritis?

Scientists are looking for the possible causes of juvenile arthritis. They are studying genetic and environmental factors that they think are involved. They are also trying to improve current treatments and find new medicines that will work better with fewer side effects.

Research supported by the National Institutes of Health includes studies on:

  • Preventing sleep problems in children with arthritis
  • Preventing anemia in children with chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
  • Whether daily calcium supplements help increase bone mineral density in children with arthritis
  • The impact of chronic and recurrent pain on children
  • Ways to limit the impact of pain on a child’s functioning
  • The role of an inflammatory chemical called interleukin-15 (IL-15).

For More Information About Juvenile Arthritis and Other Related Conditions:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institutes of Health

1 AMS Circle

Bethesda, MD 20892–3675

Phone: 301–495–4484

Toll free: 877–22–NIAMS (226–4267)

TTY: 301–565–2966

Fax: 301–718–6366


Web site:

The information in this publication was summarized in easy-to-read format from information in a more detailed NIAMS booklet. To order the Juvenile Arthritis Q&A full-text version, please contact NIAMS using the contact information above. To view the complete text or to order online, visit

For Your Information

For udates and for any questions about any medications you are taking, please contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at 888–INDO–FDA (888–463–6332, a toll-free call) or visit its Web site at

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This information was prepared by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).Should you have questions or if you would like to request further information you may reach them here:


National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institutes of Health

1 AMS Circle

Bethesda, MD 20892–3675

Phone: 301–495–4484

Toll free: 877–22–NIAMS (226–4267)

TTY: 301–565–2966

Fax: 301–718–6366


Web site:

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World Sickle Cell Awareness Day – June 19th

Photo: A group of babies.SCD is a serious condition that affects people around the world.

Due to the severity of health complications associated with SCD there is a need for increased knowledge and awareness about the disease.

Join us in celebrating World Sickle Cell Awareness Day-Educate and Unite. World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is June 19. This annual event commemorates the date in 2008 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution recognizing sickle cell disease (SCD) as a public health concern.

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day provides an opportunity to increase understanding of SCD and how the disease affects individuals and families worldwide.

Facts about SCD:

SCD is an inherited group of red blood cell disorders.

  • Among people with SCD, “sickle” or abnormally shaped red blood cells get stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to organs in the body. These blockages can cause repeated episodes of severe pain, organ damage, and serious infections, or even stroke.
  • It is estimated that SCD affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States, mainly Blacks or African Americans. The disease occurs among about 1 of every 500 Black or African-American births and among about 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births.
  • SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa; regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey.

The Global Impact of SCD

graphic: World Sickle Cell Awareness DaySCD is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity that merits closer consideration. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that SCD contributes to 5% of the deaths of children younger than 5 years of age in some African countries.

While an increasing proportion of affected children now survive past 5 years of age, many remain at risk of premature death. With early detection and use of public health interventions such as penicillin, many of these deaths can be prevented. Additionally, the burden of this disease can be reduced with increased global resources and effective partnerships.

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* This information provided courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.

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Look Good…Feel Better – Unique Program for Cancer Patients – July 23rd – 3:30 – 5:30, Laurel Regional Hospital

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Public Notice – 6-14-2012

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Prince George’s Hospital Center Blood Drive July 20th

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Dancing with the Strata Press Release

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