In a two-year period (October 1985 - September 1987), 65 children presented to the Child Health department and/or rheumatology clinic at the University Hospital with arthritis. Eighteen children (28%) had Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, ten (15%) rheumatic fever, eight (12%) systemic lupus erythematosus and thirteen (20%) had self-limiting arthritis. Systemic onset of Juvenile Chronic Arthritis occurred only in one child; nine children had polyarticular and eight pauci-articular onset of disease. The self-limiting arthritis was difficult to differentiate from Juvenile Chronic Arthritis; therefore serological testing for bacterial and viral infections should be performed before anti-rheumatic therapy is undertaken. Arthritis in childhood is not uncommon in Jamaica. However, the outcome appears to be generally favorable except in a few cases of Juvenile Chronic Arthritis.