Coming soon: AboutKidsHealth is getting a new look! Learn more Watch a video tour

All about the Heart for Kids

The Heart and Circulatory System:

illustration of a cat

Your heart is an organ made of muscle. Blood moves through open spaces within the heart. The heart squeezes in and out to push the blood through your entire body. Most animals have a heart of some kind. If an animal has blood, it probably has a heart.

illustration of fist, heart and lemon

Your heart is about the same size as your fist, and weighs about the same amount as a lemon. It moves the way most muscles do; when it contracts the muscle fibres shorten and when it relaxes they lengthen.

illustration of fingers on a pulse point

Your heart is located in your chest, near your lungs, and to the left of the hard bone in the middle of your chest (the breastbone). You might be able to feel your heart pumping by resting your hand on your chest. You can also feel your pulse (the movement of blood when your heart pumps) by putting your fingers over pulse points on your body, such as the underside of your wrist or below your jaw. A child’s heart beats about 100 times a minute. If you are exercising or running, it can beat even faster.

cartoon of nutrients in a blood drop

The heart is an important organ in the body. It helps deliver oxygen and nutrients that are in the blood to all the other organs in the body. Blood also collects waste products for the body to remove. Adult humans have about five litres of blood in their body.

cartoon of heart, blood and blood cells

The heart, arteries and veins are all part of the circulatory system. Blood moves through the heart and travels along arteries to get to the other organs in the body. Blood then travels back to the heart through the veins. Arteries contain blood that has lots of oxygen in it. Veins contain blood with less oxygen in it. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients all over your body, even to your fingertips, to keep you going, and growing!

See More: How the body works: Heart