White Blood Cells Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Ryan Newton
White blood cells help to protect our bodies from sickness and disease. In this lesson you'll learn about white blood cells and how they work to keep us healthy.

White Blood Cells: The Police of Your Body

It's late at night and a couple of burglars have decided to rob a house. Their plan is to sneak in undetected, and they're prepared to make a mess to make sure they take all of the valuable things they can find. Luckily, the house the burglars have decided to rob has a special defense against them. As soon as the burglars get in the house, a loud alarm goes off. That alarm is connected with the police department and officers are soon there to arrest the burglars and protect the home.

White blood cells are inside your body to protect you, just like the police were there to protect the home. They patrol your bloodstream searching for bacteria, infection, or other stuff that can make you sick. Harmful threats that get into your body are called pathogens. When white blood cells detect pathogens in your body, they quickly attack them so that you can stay healthy and safe.

The police of your body
White Blood Cell

Where Are White Blood Cells?

White blood cells are made inside your bones. They then circulate through the bloodstream in search of pathogens. White blood cells are also called leukocytes. In one drop of blood, there are between 7,000 and 25,000 leukocytes! There may even be more if your body is fighting a serious infection. That's because when your body needs extra help against pathogens, it makes more white blood cells.

White Blood Cells and the Immune System

Your immune system is the system of your body that works to fight against harmful pathogens that may cause you to get sick. White blood cells are a very important part of this system.There are five different kinds of white blood cells, and each has a different job. Some fight bacteria, others fight allergies, and others battle parasites. The most common ones, neutrophils, fight pathogens called bacteria and fungi.

What Do White Blood Cells Actually do?

When white blood cells see that there is an invader in your blood, they spring into action. Neutrophils are the most important type of white blood cell. Let's say that you have pathogens in your blood that may give you chicken pox or the flu. Neutrophils will actually find those pathogens and ingest them! They suck them right up, just like a vacuum cleaner!

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