You probably don’t even notice your breathing, but you inhale about 2,500 gallons of air each day – which could fill up a small bedroom! And it’s all because of your lungs: those squishy, spongelike “balloons” in your chest that not only bring in air, but also filter out pollutants and clean your blood. Lungs, for kids who want to know more about this oft-ignored organ, explores how lungs keep you alive through a complicated circuit involving bronchioles, alveoli, and capillaries. For comparison, different kinds of animal lungs are featured; did you know that in addition to lungs, birds have several large air sacs that not only help them breathe, but allow them to soar to places like Mt. Everest, where the air is very thin?
Back to human lungs; for kids interested in how they work, facts about their capacity (and how this varies due to altitude) will wow them. They can also practice “proper” breathing, which very few people do unless they are doing yoga or meditating, and learn about what causes hiccups. If they want to know how to take care of their lungs, kids can read about the diseases and viruses that can afflict them, and check out some gruesome pictures of what happens to your lungs if you smoke.