Children & adolescents

Onset of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can occur at any age; around 1 in 4 individuals with IBD are diagnosed in their first 20 years of life. Like IBD in adults, childhood-onset (‘paediatric’) IBD is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system ‘attacks’ the body’s own tissues (in this case, sections of the gastrointestinal tract).

There are some differences between adult and paediatric IBD, which can influence the way it is treated. For example:

  • Paediatric IBD tends to involve a wider section of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Management of paediatric IBD must include dietary and nutritional advice, to encourage patient growth and development

Healthcare providers will speak to you or your child about treatment, to help control inflammation and relieve symptoms of IBD, and will also provide dietary advice.

The booklets provide general information about IBD and its management. Please speak to a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

Download the parent's guide to inflammatory bowel disease Download a teen's guide to inflammatory bowel disease