Sleep well. This may mean changing mattress types, trying a memory foam pad or maybe a waterbed to get your child more comfortable. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and avoid letting your child eat big meals and have caffeinated drinks before bed.If possible, have your child take once a-day medications that can disturb sleep (like prednisone and hydroxychloroquine), earlier in the day rather than taking them in the evening. Create a relaxing bedtime routine with time for a warm shower or bath, heating pads or warmed thermal packs applied to sore joints, reading or listening to quiet music to help them wind down. 

Docherty suggests that parents should encourage kids not to worry about waking up during the night. If they wake, tell them to try to fall asleep for a few minutes then turn on their light and read a little. They’ll fall asleep faster than if they lie in the dark thinking about being awake.

Get moving. “You can feel fatigued when you don’t exercise,” says Dr. Wallace. “Exercise gives you more energy, stamina, stronger muscles and can improve sleep.” Your child doesn’t have to participate in team sports. Walking, biking or swimming are great, and a rheumatologist or physical therapist can suggest many additional activities.

Stop stressing. Stress at school or at home can cause fatigue and poor sleep. A therapist or psychologist can suggest ways to relieve anxiety.

Eat smart. Consider giving your child a multivitamin if she's a picky eater and doesn’t get all the nutrition she should from her diet. Speaking to your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you figure out what your child's diet may be lacking.


Ending Fatigue

What is the secret to ending fatigue? There's no sure-fire answer, but working with your child and his doctor to find out what may be causing the fatigue is the first step to take. Danny Kotowski’s arthritis is now in remission, his fatigue is much improved and he loves to go out and play with the other kids.

His mom’s advice: “As far as fatigue, I think you’ve got to listen to your child and give them what they need because these kids know how to read their bodies.”