The Respiratory System


Your respiratory system is vital in keeping you alive. It is a complex system that brings needed oxygen into your body and then takes unwanted carbon dioxide out of the body.

Respiratory System For Kids – Oxygen is driven to our cells by the respiratory system and breeding. The diaphragm is used to help us breathe. When we breathe-in air is forced through the mouth or nose, down the windpipe into the bronchial tubes and into our lungs.

Oxygen is the key factor needed for your body cells for life function. All of your cells make use of the oxygen and then give off waste gas in the form of carbon dioxide. Since a buildup of carbon dioxide can be deadly, the body needs to get rid of it and the respiratory system is in charge of making sure it is removed as your exhale.

Your lungs are the main component of the respiratory system. They are actually more like ‘sacs’ that fill up with oxygen as you breathe in. Each of the sacs gets deposits of oxygen and when the blood reaches your lungs as it is pushed from the heart it circulates into the walls of the lungs and picks up the rich oxygen.

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Breathing In (All About Inhaling)

Breathing-in takes in oxygen and then breathing out releases carbon dioxide.

When you take a breath your diaphragm begins to contract and flatten out. The diaphragm begins to move and gives your lungs more room so they can grow larger (your lungs are filling with air). At the same time, your rib muscles are also starting to move your ribs to give your lungs more room.
When you are breeding in air through your nose or mouth it enters your windpipe and in windpipe are tiny hairs called cilia they move around slowly making sure that no dirt or mucus enters your lungs.


Alveoli are a very important part of the respiratory system. They are tiny air sacs that allow oxygen to be passed into your red blood cells. There are millions of these in your lungs. The oxygen then enters your blood and makes its way to the heart. This oxygenated blood then makes his way to other cells in your body.

Breathing Out (Waiting to Exhale)

One of the amazing things that the Alveoli also helps to remove waste gas from blood. This is called carbon dioxide, your diaphragm helps to push this air out and basically getting rid of the carbon dioxide out of your system. Allowing you to breed fresh air back in again the next time you take a breath.
All this happens in a moment that you really don’t think about most of the time

How do the lungs work

Your body’s cells need oxygen to help you do your normal day-to-day things. The lungs take in oxygen and also help you get rid of the waste product called carbon dioxide. As you can see in the diagram below they take up a lot of space in the chest area and are protected by the ribs.

Here’s what happens when you take a breath

  • air enters your body either through your nose or your mouth
  • this travels down your windpipe (trachea)
  • the air then enters your lungs through tubes called main-stem bronchi
  • the tubes split up between the left lung and the right lung
  • next, the bronchi split into even smaller tubes that are called bronchioles and the air is passed to the alveoli

The Nose

The nose does an amazing job as air enters your body. It helps to filter dust particles by using hair and mucus. The last thing you would want is that any type of dust particles enter your lungs. One of the jobs it also does is warm up the year before entering the lungs which if it didn’t do this could potentially harm us.


The respiratory system also helps us when we talk air is forced to the vocal cords and helps them to vibrate which is basically the sound we hear when we were talking or trying to sing (like me).

Why do we get out of breath when running?

Why do we get out of breath when running? As your breathing increases, you build up more carbon dioxide in the body. The levels of carbon dioxide accumulate the respiratory system starts to trigger and it brings more oxygen into the body.

If you slow down the carbon dioxide levels will go down and you will breathe more easily. As your body starts to achieve a normal level of carbon dioxide your breathing will return to normal.

What are the 5 main functions of the respiratory system?

  • Breathing
  • Gas exchange in the lungs (oxygen & carbon dioxide)
  • Gas exchange at the tissue level (oxygen & carbon dioxide)
  • Causing sound through the larynx (talking & singing)
  • The sense of smell.

How do we keep the respiratory system healthy?

  • Don’t smoke
  • eat healthy food
  • exercise regularly
  • ensure you get lots of sleep and rest
  • washing your hands properly
  • avoid people that are sick
  • Regular visits to the doctor

Viruses and bacteria can cause respiratory illness some of the steps above may seem drastic but the likes of cigarette smoking have been proven to cause conical respiratory diseases. eating healthy food can be a lifestyle choice for the course is a wonderful option to explore new ideas that you may not have tasted before.

Exercise is a wonderful way of staying healthy there are so many options from running to cycling, from tennis to golf, from team sports to individual events these can all contribute to having a healthy respiratory system.

Rest is always an overlooked benefits to staying healthy and helps the body to repair itself from the active day you may have had.

Keeping your hands washed after sneezing or coughing or even blowing your nose can ensure that you are not passing any viruses or bacteria into the respiratory system.

If friends or family are ill you need to make sure that they’re not spreading the risk to you.

Regular visits to your doctor for checkups can also help to ensure that you are keeping well and your respiratory system is coping with everything that you do.





The process of breathing is a combination of what is called ‘voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’. The voluntary part allows you to breathe in when you want to, hold your breath or breathe out under your own control. The involuntary part is where your body takes over. If cells don’t receive oxygen they will begin to die in just a few minutes. Your brain kicks in and requires your body to breathe. This happens whether you are awake or asleep.


  • The fastest known speed of a sneeze on record is 165 kilometers per hour.
  • The process of sneezing also includes tiny water droplets. If you have a cold, the water droplets contain the virus or germs and spray them into the air where someone else can breathe them in and catch your cold.
  • When we exhale, we send out breathe that contains the water vapor. The amount of water vapor we lose each day in breathing is about one liter.
  • The lungs contain small tubes that are compacted in very tightly. If they were extended out they would cover the area of a tennis court.
  • The lung capillaries, if stretched out from end to end, are about 1,600 kilometers.
  • An average person breathes between twelve and fifteen times per minute when they are at rest.
  • Children breathe at a faster rate than adult men and women.

Respiratory System Facts for Kids


  • Blood that is circulating around the walls of your lungs now have rich oxygen and it is carried back to the heart where it can circulate to the rest of your body, carrying the oxygen with it.
  • As you breathe, you have a special organ that helps the lungs move. It’s called the ‘diaphragm’ and it contracts and relaxes to make your lungs larger and smaller for the action of breathing.
  • When you get hiccups, it is the diaphragm that is causing them. When the diaphragm goes into light spasms, you get the hiccups.
  • You have two lungs in your body. The left side of your body contains one lung and the heart. To make room for the heart, the left lung is slightly smaller than the right lung.
  • People can survive with only one lung and have a relatively normal life. They will have some restrictions on the kind of activities that they can do.
  • Small tiny hairs in your nose catch any dust and dirt that you breathe in. The hairs, combined with a lining of mucus in the nose makes sure the air that enters your lungs is warm and moist.
  • When something irritates the little hairs in your nose your body reacts with a sneeze to get rid of the irritation.