Challenges for school children with arthritis

Living with arthritis can be an isolating experience as a child, misunderstood and negatively labelled by their student peers.

  • Sep. 11, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Three out of every 1,000 children lives with arthritis, and the return to school can be a time of potential apprehension for them.

Most people are not aware  that kids can get arthritis, which is why The Arthritis Society is sharing the MediKidz comic book, a resource written by pediatric rheumatologists.  September is also Arthritis Awareness Month across Canada.

Living with arthritis can be an isolating experience, especially as a child.  It is often difficult to explain why a child can’t participate in gym class, or may need to rest right after school or throughout the day.

Kids can be misunderstood and labeled by their peers, and Adrienne Dalla-Longa lived this story.

Now 27, Adrienne reflects on when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Ideopathic Arthritis (JIA) and started undergoing treatment.   “I had to wear ankle, knee and wrist braces, and in elementary school, I was prevented from fully participating in many activities, including gym time.

“The teachers didn’t know what activities were appropriate and didn’t want to risk my getting hurt, so I was made to sit out.  This experience resulted in me being bullied by my peers, who did not understand why I was unable to participate.  I wish that a resource like this comic book was available to me when I was in school.”

The Arthritis Society is encouraging everyone to learn more about JIA with the help of the “MediKidz” in this playful yet informing and meaningful comic book.  It was written by doctors for kids and the digital flipbook is available at

Hard copies of the comic book are also available through the society by calling 604-714-5550 or emailling

Kelowna Capital News

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image