Arthritis explained to Kids!

Lack of understanding

Arthritis information for children is important to enable them to understand a little bit about it, especially when a close member of the family is quite obviously affected. Many parents have limited information themselves or are unable to clearly explain and from a child's perspective it could be distressing observing from the sideline not understanding or knowing if there is anything they can do to help

Arthritis symptoms being experienced by a grandparent or an elderly friend of the family that a child could find distressing may include the inability to walk unaided or to stand for any length of time, obvious chronic or sudden very severe hip, knee, neck or back or muscle pain rendering the patient to frequent periods of inactivity. Also, the appearance of joint deformity after being damaged by the arthritis disease process can be unsightly and could be a source of alarm or distress to a child.

No cure

At this time there is no known cure for arthritis but relief is available from a variety of sources.

Treatment includes.....

Natural or complementary medicine remedies include for example, herbs and homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, nutritional supplementation, arthritis diets etc

Other therapies used in the treatment of arthritis include, physical therapy including the application of heat or cold, exercising in water (hydrotherapy), massage, surgery and drugs. Drugs of varying types and strengths and liniments and creams are all used with the purpose of relieving pain and inflammation.

Occupational therapy could include the application of a splint to keep a joint in a comfortable but useable position, for example.

How the book came about

I had been nursing for well over 20 years, much of that time spent in planning and the implementation of care and management for patients with various forms of arthritis. It occurred to me one day, that there was absolutely no literature at all available, that I was aware of, for children about arthritis .....so I resolved to change that.

The end result was this children's book, "Mr Ashton has Arthritis". It was well received among families, arthritis special interest groups and libraries particularly in Australia and now is available internationally as an e-book.

Arthritis is very common

Never in human history have we lived so well or so long. Unfortunately, the frequency of diseases such as arthritis and related disorders, which become more common as we age, has increased with the aging of society. This book provides an opportunity for children to improve their understanding of the problems, causes and management of arthritis in the elderly.

"Why does Grandma walk like that? Why doesn't Grandpa want to kick a ball anymore?" Children often find it difficult to understand the problems of arthritis, although as our population ages, they will come across many people with poor mobility due to degenerative joint diseases

The book contents

This book gives an accurate account of a young boy's elderly neighbour who manages on his own with a support network despite having quite painful and advanced osteoarthritis. Younger children with a grandparent, relative or neighbour with troublesome arthritis would definitely benefit from reading this book.

This book has diagrams and is illustrated in a fun and often, poignant way. It includes a special note for parents and teachers and local, national and international resources.

This excellent introduction to arthritis for children is just one click away........the subject matter is very timely, well researched and easily understood.


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About the author

Elizabeth Gray was a registered nurse for over 30 years. Much of her work was concerned with the rehabilitation and management of degenerative diseases. To learn more about Elizabeth's other publications:

Dementia explained to Kids
Parkinsons explained to Kids
Strokes explained to Kids
Arthritis Self Management Programme
Constipation relief Now!