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Signs and symptoms
Arthritis should be considered whenever there is pain and a limited ability to move any joint, unless there has been a physical injury to the joint. Deciding if a child has arthritis is best left to the doctor.

Home care
No home treatment is safe until after a doctor’s diagnosis has been made. Trying to treat the condition at home may only delay proper treatment. Also, home treatment may make diagnosis more difficult for the doctor. If your doctor is not immediately available, pain relievers containing aspirin or paracetamol will temporarily reduce the discomfort. Rest or immobilize the affected joints.

Infectious arthritis is an acute emergency, and delay of treatment for 24 hours may result in permanent damage to a joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic fever require prompt treatment to minimize damage but are not considered emergencies.
Rheumatoid arthritis can begin with only a prolonged unexplained fever, and no outward signs of arthritis (redness, tenderness and swelling).

Medical treatment
For the evaluation of arthritis, several tests are required. These tests may include X rays; a wide variety of blood tests; blood culture; drawing fluid out of the joint for testing; electrocardiogram; and a stool culture. Treatment may include antibiotics, drainage of the joints, large doses of aspirin (aspirin substitutes do not have the same effect), or oral steroids. If large doses of aspirin are prescribed and taken over a period of time, aspirin blood levels should be tested regularly.
If the condition is diagnosed as allergic arthritis, the doctor may suggest using oral antihistamines to relieve the symptoms. If it is diagnosed as arthritis from rubella, no treatment is necessary.

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