Fingers

Children with finger pain may be unable to pick up small objects or have trouble writing because they tend to keep their fingers in a curled position.

Solutions: To ease pain, your child should use large crayons or pencils, or those with soft grip covers. An older child may prefer to type on a computer rather than hand write. Another option is to use a gel-type pen with ink that flows easily, to reduce resistance or dragging as she writes. Use play-dough, putty or a squishy ball to strengthen your child’s fingers.

 

Hip

When children have hip involvement, the extensor muscles become weaker than the opposing flexor muscles, pulling the hip forward so it becomes curled up.

Solutions: While watching television or reading, your child can lie on her stomach to stretch hips into extension after sitting flexed all day at school.

 

Knee

Knee involvement is common in arthritis. Once it becomes difficult to straighten the knee, your child may walk with a limp. Parents will notice that smaller children no longer can squat.

Solutions: When experiencing knee pain, your child should rest with the knee straight and the heel propped up. Young children may benefit from wearing a knee extension splint at night to keep the knee extended while sleeping. A therapist can work with the child to strengthen the quadriceps muscle.


Ankles

Your child’s ankle can require some support if it becomes weak and painful.

Solutions: An in-shoe orthotic can support the structure of the foot to relieve pain when standing and walking. Exercises that stretch the calf muscles and strengthen the muscles that raise the toes can be helpful. Ask your child to perform ankle circles in the bath, using the feet to make letters of the alphabet or to spell secret messages.


Foot

When your child’s foot hurts, the pain is usually worse on the ball of the foot, making it harder to walk or raise the toes.

Solutions: A small pad, placed just behind the ball of the foot, will relieve pressure on the foot.