Rheumatic diseases in children affect joints, muscles and connective tissue. Symptoms are often due to inflammatory or autoimmune responses where the body's immune system mistakes its own cells as an invading organism and attacks them, causing chronic pain, redness, swelling, or fever. Rheumatic diseases affect approximately one million children each year, and although there is no cure for them, luckily most cases are safely outgrown. Although the exact cause of rheumatic diseases in children and adults is unknown, researchers believe that the following factors may play a part in causing these diseases: genetic/family history, trauma, infection, excessive wear and stress on joints, environmental triggers, hormones, and neurological or metabolic disturbances. Talk to your child's pediatrician about the best care plan if your child has been diagnosed with a rheumatic disease.