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Red Blood Cells Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What Is a Red Blood Cell?
  • 0:53 Location & Shape of…
  • 1:39 Red Blood Cell…
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Danielle Reid

Danielle has taught middle school science and has a doctorate degree in Environmental Health

Have you ever fallen down and started to bleed? The red color of blood you see is made of a tiny cell called a red blood cell. Let's read more about these tiny cells that can pack a big punch!

What Is A Red Blood Cell?

How would you describe blood? Well, it's a liquid like water. We know it moves around inside our bodies and just might ooze out if we fall down and scrape our knees. Ouch! But wait, we are forgetting one thing. What is the color of blood? It is red, just like the color of a fire truck.

Do you know what gives blood its red color? It is a tiny cell called a red blood cell. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body and remove the trash (the carbon dioxide) from the body.

There are different types of cells in our blood, but almost half of these are red blood cells. And there are a lot of them! If you take just one drop of blood and zoom in, you will see millions of red blood cells.

Location and Shape of Red Blood Cells

Imagine you have a red Starburst candy. Now imagine you take your thumb and smush the candy like a pancake. That's the shape of a red blood cell! The shape of a red blood cell is a flat circle, or disk. Now, where are these red blood cells born? They are first born in our bones, which have all of the tools needed to make red blood cells.

When the cell leaves its home (the bone), it travels into our blood. But wait! A red blood cell can only travel for so long. After about four months, the red blood cell reaches an age where it's too old and tired to travel. So, it will break apart into tiny pieces that will be used to make new red blood cells.

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