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When your child has lupus, life can sometimes seem like a roller coaster ride. A lupus diagnosis is hard to pin down. The disease is often mistakenly left untreated. To be safely managed, lupus needs proactive care—and vigilant monitoring.

To make informed decisions about medical treatment for your child with lupus, you need to learn all you can about the disease.

Fast facts about lupus

Lupus—also called systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE—is…

…an autoimmune disease that causes your child's immune system to attack its own cells. This leads to  inflammation in joints, skin, organs and other body systems.

…unpredictable: Symptoms come, go, change slightly, disappear altogether—then come back years later.

…a disorder that lasts a lifetime. There is no cure for lupus, but the disease can be managed with expert medical care and family support.

Symptoms of lupus

Lupus' symptoms include stiff and swollen joints, fever, rash, fatigue, chest pain, sensitivity to light, cold hands and Raynaud's phenomenon, headache, depression, seizures, mouth sores and more.

For definitive diagnosis of lupus, children must have four out of 11 symptoms for lupus established by the American College of Rheumatology.

Who is at risk?

Teenagers make up 50-60 percent of all lupus cases in children.

Girls in their teens develop lupus nine times more often than teenage boys.

African American, Latino and Asian children are at higher risk than other American kids.

Children who test positive for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) should be examined closely. All children with lupus test positive for ANA.

What you can do to help your child with lupus

  • Seek expert care now. Expert diagnosis and early aggressive treatment can slow or halt some forms of lupus and reduce treatment side effects.
  • See a pediatric rheumatologist, if possible. These experts are trained in both childhood medicine and rheumatology–the study of joints and autoimmune disease.
  • Choose a facility with multidisciplinary care and ongoing rheumatologic research. Access to children's medical specialists and new lupus therapies gives your child a huge advantage.

Learn more about lupus from the following organizations:

Looking for superb lupus care near your tri-state suburban home?

The Rheumatology Department at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) is located in the north Bronx, minutes away from suburban New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We offer children with lupus:

  • Care from the nation's most experienced pediatric rheumatologists
  • State-of-the-art facilities with under-one-roof treatment from more than 100 different specialists
  • Access to the latest clinical trials
  • Support services for families

Get the help you need for your child. Call CHAM today.

To learn more about our lupus treatment or to make an appointment with our pediatric rheumatologists, call us at 718-741-2456. Please call today–we look forward to hearing about your child.