Our Cells Are Little Fireplaces

Cell respiration for kids seen as source of life force. A story about cell respiration for your kids.

Our cells respire. They breathe in and they breathe out. They take in a gas called Oxygen and they give out a gas called Carbon Dioxide. But how can this happen? It is because inside each and every cell there are dwarfs tending the fire in a fireplace.

What fireplace? Do we burn inside? As a matter of fact, we do. In a special way of course. There is no flame in our cells. The burning in the cell fireplaces is so slow that nobody notices it. Except the dwarfs, who are keeping the fire alive.

But how can they keep it alive all the time? There are three dwarfs tending the fire in each fireplace. They work in shifts. The first dwarf works from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The second dwarf keeps the fire burning from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. And the last one is on duty over night from 10 p.m. in the evening to 6 a.m. in the morning. The snail-like-slow and no-flame-fire in the cell must never die. Each cell counts. This is how mother nature keeps us alive. Of course some cells die over time, but there are always new cells emerging to replace them.

And what is burning in this teeny-tiny fireplaces? Definitely not wood, but food. The potatoes, vegetables, fruit, bread, meat and everything else we eat breaks down to molecules in our intestine. Blood then carries the molecules to each and every cell. And these molecules are the ‘wood’ of the cell respiration.

Similarly blood carries Oxygen from our lungs to the individual cells. And it also takes Carbon Dioxide from the cells back to the lungs, where we breathe it out. Just like a fire in a real fireplace needs Oxygen to burn and produces Carbon Dioxide, our cells use Oxygen in cell respiration and Carbon Dioxide is the residue of the cell respiration.

And just like a fireplace keeps us warm, also the snail-like-slow and no-flame-fire in the cells keeps us warm. But it does more than that. Our cells need energy to function. The muscle cells need it to contract and move our body. The nerve cells in our brain use it to communicate with one another and thus produce thoughts and feelings. And so on and on. The energy for all our cells comes from food in the fireplaces. It is called cell respiration because of the exchange of gases, but actually it is a way of gaining life force.

That is why we have to eat and breathe to keep the fire burning.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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