Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory systemAAnatomy and physiology of the respiratory systemAnatomy and physiology of the respiratory systemEnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Lungs;TracheaRespiratory systemNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+) Hospital healthcare providersNA2017-06-29T04:00:00ZReshma Amin, MD, FRCPC, MSc;Faiza Syed, BHSc, RRT;Tuyen Tran, RRT000Flat ContentHealth A-Z

 

 

Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system2911.00000000000Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory systemAnatomy and physiology of the respiratory systemAEnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Lungs;TracheaRespiratory systemNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+) Hospital healthcare providersNA2017-06-29T04:00:00ZReshma Amin, MD, FRCPC, MSc;Faiza Syed, BHSc, RRT;Tuyen Tran, RRT000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>A child’s respiratory system (breathing system) can be broken down into the:</p><ul><li>upper respiratory tract</li><li>lower respiratory tract.</li></ul><h2>Upper respiratory tract<br></h2><h3>Nasal cavity<br></h3><p>When you breathe through your nose, the air is warmed, moisturized and cleaned. Tiny hairs called cilia line the inside of the nose and filter the air.</p><h3>Oral cavity (mouth)</h3><p>When you breathe through your mouth, you are warming and moisturizing the air. However, there are no cilia in the oral cavity, so the air is not filtered.</p><h3>Pharynx</h3><p>The pharynx is a muscular tube between the nose and the mouth.</p><h3>Larynx (voice box)</h3><p>The larynx (voice box) is between the pharynx and the trachea. It contains the vocal cords. When air is breathed in and out, voice sounds are created here. The vocal cords can be closed to build up pressure in the lungs and create a strong cough.</p><h3>Epiglottis</h3><p>The epiglottis is a flap that hangs over the larynx. When you swallow, this flap covers the larynx so food and/or drink will go into the esophagus and not into the trachea and lungs.</p><h3>Esophagus</h3><p>The esophagus is the feeding tube that connects the pharynx and the stomach.<br></p> <figure class="asset-c-100"> <span class="asset-image-title">Upper respiratory tract</span><img alt="The upper respiratory tract, showing the nasal cavity, oral cavity (mouth), pharynx, epiglottis, larynx (voice box) and esophagus." src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/respiratory_tract_upper_EN.jpg" /> </figure> <h2>Lower respiratory tract</h2><h3>Trachea (windpipe)</h3><p>The trachea is the breathing tube that connects the larynx to the lungs. This is where a tracheostomy tube is inserted.</p><h3>Lungs (right and left)</h3><p>The lungs are the two organs used for breathing in the body. The lungs take in oxygen from the air and release carbon dioxide. </p><h3>Carina</h3><p>The carina is where the trachea divides into two hollow tubes, the right and left bronchi.</p><h3>Bronchi and bronchioles</h3><p>The bronchi supply air to each lung. The bronchi divide into smaller and smaller hollow tubes called bronchioles. These are the smallest air tubes in the lungs.</p><h3>Alveoli</h3><p>The alveoli are tiny sac-like structures at the tip of the bronchioles. They allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move in and out of the lungs.</p><h3>Pleura</h3><p>The pleura are membranes that surround the lungs. The visceral pleura is the inside membrane, attached to the lungs. The parietal pleura is the outside membrane.</p><h3>Capillaries</h3><p>The capillaries are blood vessels in the walls of the alveoli.</p><h3>Ribs</h3><p>The ribs are the individual curved bones that surround the lungs.</p><h3>Ribcage</h3><p>The ribcage is the group of ribs that protect the lungs.</p> <figure class="asset-c-100"><span class="asset-image-title">Lower respiratory tract</span><img alt="The lower respiratory tract, showing the trachea (windpipe) bronchioles, bronchi, lungs and alveoli." src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/respiratory_tract_lower_EN.jpg" /> </figure> <h2>Respiratory muscles</h2><p>The respiratory muscles​ play a vital role in every breath a child takes. They include the:</p><ul><li>neck muscles</li><li>intercostal muscles</li><li>abdominal muscles</li><li>diaphragm.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-100"> <span class="asset-image-title">Respiratory muscles</span><img alt="The respiratory muscles include the muscles of the neck, the intercostal muscles and abdomen, as well as the diaphragm and ribs." src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/respiratory_muscles_EN.png" /> </figure> <h3>Neck muscles</h3><p>If a child is having difficulty breathing, the muscles of the neck can help.</p><h3>Intercostal muscles</h3><p>The intercostal muscles are the muscles between the ribs.</p><h3>Abdominal muscles</h3><p>The abdominal muscles are active during a forced exhalation (breathing out) only. They also help to create a good cough.</p><h3>Diaphragm</h3><p></p><p>The diaphragm is a large, sheet-like muscle. The diaphragm is the main muscle involved in breathing. It is always active.​<br></p> <a class="btn btn-primary" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/trachvent">Return to trach-vent learning hub</a> <br>Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory systemTruehttps://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=2912&language=English

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