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Areas of Care

Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA) Clinic

About us

The Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Clinic opened in 1995, as the first comprehensive care clinic for children and their families affected by this rare form of arthritis. The clinic team is supported by physician trainees, nurses and an advanced therapist practitioner.  

Contact us

You can call the Rheumatology Clinic at 416-813-7281.

Clinic/registration location

The Rheumatology Clinic is found in Clinic 9. The waiting and registration area is in the Burton Wing in Room M100.

From the University Avenue entrance, walk right, down the hallway and turn down the first hallway on your left. We are the first clinic you will find on the right side of the hall.

From the Elizabeth Street entrance and parking garage elevators, walk west along Main Street towards Shoppers Drug Mart. At the Family Centre turn left. At the end of this hallway you will find our registration and waiting area in front of you.

When you register, a SickKids identification (ID) band will be placed on your child. The band must be worn on your child's arm or ankle at all times. Check your child's ID band to make sure the information is correct. If your child is not wearing a band or has the wrong one, it can lead to errors that can result in the wrong care for your child. Staff must always check the band before providing care to your child. Your child must keep the band on at all times while at SickKids.

If you or your child are sick before your appointment

Call the clinic if you or your child have had a cold, cough, diarrhea, fever or rash within two days of your appointment, or have been sick with or exposed to chicken pox in the last three weeks. Your appointment may need to be rescheduled. 

Tell the clerk, nurse or doctor if your child has been in a hospital outside of Canada within the last 12 months. 

If you cannot come to your child’s appointment, it is important that you call the clinic as soon as possible to cancel and reschedule.

Be on time

Please ensure you arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to allow for time to register.

If you are late, you may have to wait for other patients to be seen first. Allow lots of time to get to the hospital. It can take some time to get used to finding your way around and it is important to be on time for your child’s appointment. Staff will try to see your child as close to your appointment time as possible. Please understand that some patients being seen ahead of you may need more time than expected, and this can cause delay for others.

Bring the following

  • You must show valid health-care coverage at every visit. If you do not, you will be required to pay a fee for the visit, unless coverage or insurance can be verified.

Proof of health-care coverage must be valid at the time of visit (not expired).

    • If you live in Ontario, show your child’s valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card.
    • If you live in another province, show your child’s provincial health-care card.
    • If you are a refugee claimant, show your child’s Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) certificate.
    • If you have private health insurance, show the appropriate information or documentation.
    • If you are receiving support from a Community Health Centre (CHC), show a letter from the CHC.
  • Your appointment card or letter
  • Toys, books, nut-free snacks, diapers and formula to keep your child comfortable and occupied in case there is a wait
  • Any medical information, such as referral letters, test results, information about current therapies, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds or CT scans
  • All medications your child is currently taking (in original packaging), including alternative and complementary treatments
  •  Immunization record
  • Clothing for your child to wear to allow for a full physical exam (T-shirt/tank top and shorts).   

Important pre-appointment instructions

If there are any special pre-appointment instructions you will be contacted by clinic staff prior to your visit and provided with full details.

Try not to bring other children to the appointment

If other children must come, please consider taking them to the Play Park during your visit. The Play Park is a free, fun and safe place for brothers and sisters of patients to play. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. It is located on the Main Floor of the Atrium, next to the parking elevators. All children over 2 ½ years of age are welcome. Trained staff and volunteers will watch your children carefully. You do not need to book in advance to use the Play Park. The Play Park number is 416-813-8884.

Latex allergy

Call the clinic before coming to the hospital if your child or anyone coming with them has a known or suspected allergy to latex.

Accessibility

All visitor entrances on the Main Floor are wheelchair accessible. SickKids has several wheelchair-accessible washrooms on the Main Floor. Both male and female washrooms in the Atrium have large change tables where children and teens can have diapers changed. There is another private wheelchair-accessible washroom with a large change table on the Service Floor of the Black Wing in Room S213, across the hall from Rehabilitation Services. Wheelchairs are available near the Atrium and University Avenue entrances.

Assistance dogs for children or parents with disabilities are allowed at SickKids. Please make sure they are clean and have up-to-date immunizations.

Interpreter Services

If you need an interpreter, please call the clinic before your appointment so we can arrange for an interpreter. There is no charge for an interpreter. Please give us at least 24 to 48 hours' notice to make it easier for us to find an interpreter for you.

What to expect during your visit

Appointments generally last at least 1 to 2 1/2 hours, and while we do our best to be as efficient as possible, sometimes the waiting time is beyond our control.

Once in the Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Clinic, you will register your child at the desk and be given a short questionnaire to fill out (Child Health Assessment Questionnaire or CHAQ). This will provide us with a snapshot of how your child is feeling and how his or her physical function has been in the past week. Your child may be asked to have a blood test done prior to the clinic visit.

When a clinic room is available your child will be called in for an assessment, which includes your child’s weight, height and blood pressure; review of current medications (if any); and your child’s current physical status. A physician trainee or advanced therapist practitioner will complete a full review and exam. This will be followed by a review with the staff physician and a discussion of your child’s plan of care. This may include starting new or changing current medications, blood tests, urine testing and/or imaging (X-rays).

If necessary, you may also meet with other members of the health-care team. This team includes nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietitians, and social work professionals. Each member plays an important role in patient/family assessment, education, support and follow-up.
Referrals to other services at SickKids, such as Orthopaedic Surgery, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Endocrinology and Psychiatry, may be recommended.

More information:

Division of Rheumatology