Blood is the fluid in our bodies that maintains life and our existence. We cannot survive without blood and since our blood supports all of our bodily functions, it is required to be in a healthy condition.
Blood carries oxygen and essential vitamins and minerals to the locations in our body. It is like a train that carries good things to our organs and when it drops them off, it picks up the ‘waste’ that our bodies no longer needs.
- When blood is in a good healthy condition, it helps us to fight off infections.
- The circulation of the blood in our body keeps us warm while at the same time it acts as a cooling mechanism for areas such as our brain, to keep it from overheating.
- While you might look at blood and simply see the color ‘red’, over half of it is made up of something called ‘plasma’. This is a pale yellow, clear liquid that carries the blood platelets and cells as well as chemicals such as glucose and hormones throughout the body.
The red blood cells in our body have the responsibility of carrying oxygen and delivering it and then returning with carbon dioxide where it delivers that to our lungs. When we breathe out, we are releasing the carbon dioxide. One drop of blood contains millions of these red blood cells.
The blood cells have a red color due to a chemical called hemoglobin (hee-ma-glow-bin). This is a chemical that contains iron which is a requirement for our bodies and carries the oxygen from our lungs to circulate throughout the body. It is also the part that picks up the carbon dioxide, takes it to our lungs where we can breathe it out.
Our bone marrow is the center where red blood cells are made. The major bones such as the thigh and pelvis make most of the red blood cells. It is like a little ‘manufacturing center’ that creates healthy red blood cells.
Facts about Blood for Kids:
- Red blood cells live for around four months and then they break down and parts are reused to make new blood cells.
- White blood cells in the body are like ‘defenders’ They fight off anything foreign, like a splinter, as well as against any germs that enter our system. For every one milliliter of blood there are around 5,000-7,000 white blood cells.
- When you are sick, your body increases the production of white blood cells to fight off infection. They can get as high as 25,000 for every one ml of blood.
- Blood carries all of the substances that we need to give us energy.
- Blood also carries natural hormones, such as insulin, from the pancreas as well as growth hormones from the brain.
White blood cells work in conjunction with other body chemicals such as antibodies. These are proteins that travel inside the blood to help your immune system to fight off diseases.
Blood platelets are actually like small sticky cells that move around in the blood. When you fall down and cut your knee, a blood vessel is injured. The platelets gather together along with a protein called fibrinogen (fy-brin-o-jen) to create a ‘clot’ to stop the bleeding. It is like a kind of web that stops the flow of the blood from the injured vessel.