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Lower Respiratory Tract: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 The Respiratory Tract
  • 0:44 Lungs and Diaphragm
  • 1:47 Bronchi and Bronchioles
  • 2:31 Alveoli
  • 3:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Did you ever notice how your chest gets bigger when you take a deep breath? Your lower respiratory tract is inside your chest. Breathing pulls air into the tract causing your chest to expand. Learn about the lower respiratory tract.

The Respiratory Tract

You probably know that you breathe in through your nose and mouth, but where does that air go? The oxygen you breathe in and the carbon dioxide you breathe out are both handled by your respiratory system. The system has two parts, or tracts: the upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract, which is made up of the nose, mouth, throat, larynx, and trachea, carries air to your lower respiratory tract. In this lesson, you'll learn about the parts and functions of the lower respiratory tract, which is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens inside the body.

Lungs and Diaphragm

You have two lungs that take up much of the space underneath your ribs, which act as a bony shield of protection for your delicate lungs. When you take a deep breath in your lungs fill with air, but even when they're empty your lungs aren't hollow like balloons. In fact, if you were to take a lung out of a body, you would think it looks more like a porous sponge than a deflated balloon.

Your lungs are the organs that allow gases to move in and out of your body. Oxygen is a gas that your cells need to survive, and carbon dioxide is a waste gas given off by your cells when they do work. When your cells need oxygen, you breathe oxygen-filled air into your lungs with the help of your diaphragm. The diaphragm is a thin, broad muscle that sits below your lungs. When it contracts, it flattens out and creates space in the lungs so they can fill with air. When you breathe out, the diaphragm relaxes and pushes the stale air, including that waste carbon dioxide, out of your lungs.

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