Facts for kids: Why do I hiccup?

what causes hiccups

Charles Osborne had the hiccups from 1922 to 1990. He looks pretty angry about it.

Blame your epiglottis. The epiglottis is a fleshy barrier that separates the food and air tubes in your throat. The annoying sensation and noise of a hiccup is caused when your epiglottis shuts without warning. But you can’t blame the epiglottis without blaming the diaphragm as well.

The diaphragm is a muscle at the bottom of the chest that controls breathing. On occasion the diaphragm spasms, causing air to be sucked into the lungs and the epiglottis to close quickly. Spasms of a diaphragm can be caused by a variety of things, such as eating food too quickly, spicy foods, smoking, fizzy drinks, stress, and too much alcohol.

Short answer: There are over 100 causes of hiccups but we’re keeping it simple. If you’re like me, you get the hiccups because you eat too quickly. If you want to impress people at parties, tell them hiccups are also known as singultus. It is Latin for the act of catching one’s breath while sobbing.

Facts for kids: What is blood made of?

Blood is made up of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Red blood cells look like doughnuts.

Ever fallen over, cut your knee and wondered “what is blood made of?”

Blood is made up of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which carries molecules of oxygen around your body. The oxygen is used by your body to release energy. Hemoglobin contains iron, which gives your blood its distinctive red colour. Red blood cells also carry carbon dioxide, produced as waste by your cells.

White blood cells protect you from pathogens such as viruses, infections and bacteria. They identify, destroy, and remove harmful pathogens, damaged cells, cancerous cells, and foreign matter from the body. You can see evidence of the white blood cells when you have a cut and it is surrounded by a reddish, sometimes painful, border.

Platelets help the blood to clot. They repair holes in your blood vessels when there is a rip or tear, like when fall over onto the ground. Platelets stop the bleeding by clotting the blood into a solid. Without platelets simple cuts and scrapes wouldn’t easily form into scabs.

Finally, there is plasma. It’s a yellow colour, is made up of about 90 percent water, and contains nutrients, salts, gases, proteins, and waste such as carbon dioxide. About 55 percent of your blood is plasma. White and red blood cells float in it

Short answer: Blood is a mixture of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The cells are made by the marrow inside your bones, while plasma is mostly made from what you eat and drink.

Facts for kids: Why is my pee yellow?

yellow pee

Someone needs a few glasses of water.

Don’t panic. Your pee is yellow for a very good reason.

Your wee is yellow thanks to a pigment called urochrome. Urochrome is created after your liver processes and removes damaged or dead red blood cells. These cells live an average of 120 days in the bloodstream and have the job of transporting oxygen from the lungs to the cells of your body.

While there is nothing wrong with yellow wee, keep an eye out for orange or amber coloured liquid. This usually means your liver and kidneys are working overtime to rid your body of waste, such as urochrome and various bacteria. A few glasses of water will usually help change the colour back to something less scary. Water hydrates you, reduces the stress on your kidneys, and helps your body flush out the waste.

Short answer: Yellow pee is nothing to worry about. It usually means your body is simply ridding itself of waste. Drink lots of water and your pee should turn from yellow to clear. That’s the best coloured pee of all.