A Pediatric Nurse's Guide to the Human Body

Written by Steve Belcher

Be a pediatric nurse is an exciting and rewarding career. You'll get to help children and their families manage health problems and learn how to keep themselves healthy. To do this, you'll need to learn all about the human body and how it works.

Skeletal System

The skeletal system is the body's framework. It includes all 206 bones in the body plus tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that holds it together. The tendons pull on the bones to make your body move, just like how a marionette moves when its strings are pulled. The ligaments help keep the bones in their correct places while still allowing them to move when they need to. The cartilage is like a cushion between bones to prevent them from rubbing against each other and causing pain.

  1. What Is the Skeletal System?
  2. Ligaments vs. Tendons
  3. Facts About Human Bones

Muscular System

The muscular system is made of hundreds of muscles that help you move, stand, and do all kinds of activities. Your muscles are made of fibers that can contract and relax. This makes it possible to move your arms, legs, fingers, toes, and even the muscles in your face. Your heart is also a muscle, and it pumps blood throughout your body.

  1. What Is the Muscular System?
  2. Types of Muscles
  3. Muscle Facts for Kids

Cardiovascular/Circulatory System

The cardiovascular system is made of your heart and blood vessels. Your heart pumps blood, sending it to the organs, muscles, and tissues that need it. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to these parts of your body so you can stay healthy. Your blood vessels include arteries, veins and capillaries, and they help direct the blood to where it needs to go.

  1. What Is the Cardiovascular System?
  2. Understanding the Circulatory System
  3. Facts About Blood Vessels

Digestive System

The digestive system helps your body break down food so you can get energy from it. It starts with your mouth, where saliva begins breaking down the food. The food then travels down your esophagus and into your stomach, where enzymes break it down even more. From there, the food goes to your intestines, where vitamins and minerals are absorbed. Finally, waste is eliminated from your body through your rectum.

  1. How the Digestive System Works
  2. Parts of the Digestive System
  3. Digestive System Facts for Kids

Nervous System

The nervous system consists of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It helps control everything you do. Your brain is like a computer that processes information and commands. It sends messages through the spinal cord to your muscles, making it possible for you to move. The nerves are connected throughout your body, like a web that carries the messages from your brain to all of the other parts of you so they know what to do.

  1. What Is the Nervous System?
  2. Functions of the Nervous System
  3. What You Need To Know About the Human Brain

Respiratory System

The respiratory system is what you use to breathe so you can get oxygen into your body. It starts with your nose, where air enters your body and is warmed and moistened before it goes down into your lungs. Inside the lungs, oxygen from the air is absorbed and carbon dioxide is released. The oxygen travels through your blood vessels to the rest of your body.

  1. How Does the Respiratory System Work?
  2. Parts of the Respiratory System
  3. Breathing Facts for Kids

Endocrine System

The endocrine system controls how your body works by releasing hormones. Hormones are like chemical messengers that travel throughout your body and tell it what to do. They help control things like growth, metabolism, reproduction, and even your emotions.

  1. What Is the Endocrine System?
  2. Hormones and Their Functions
  3. Endocrine System Facts

Urinary System

The urinary system helps to remove waste from your body. It starts with your kidneys, which filter the blood to remove toxins from it and turn them into urine. This urine is then passed through a tube called the ureter and stored in the bladder until it's ready to be removed from your body through another tube called the urethra.

  1. Everything You Need to Know About Your Kidneys
  2. Urinary System Facts

Immune System

The immune system is what works to keep you safe from illness and disease. It's made of white blood cells, antibodies, and other kinds of cells. The immune system recognizes germs that enter your body and fights them off.

  1. How to Improve Your Immunity
  2. Types of White Blood Cells
  3. How Does the Immune System Work?

Reproductive System

The reproductive system is the system that lets humans make new humans. It's made of different organs in males and females, and these organs produce the eggs and sperm cells that combine to make what will grow into a baby.

  1. Human Reproductive Systems
  2. Parts of the Reproductive System
  3. Facts About Fertility and Reproduction

Integumentary System

The integumentary system helps protect your body from the outside world, and it's made of your skin, hair, and nails. The skin is a barrier to keep germs and other things out of your body, while the hair keeps us warm and our nails help us grab things with our hands.

  1. What Is the Integumentary System?
  2. Functions of the Integumentary System
  3. Facts About Skin, Hair, and Nails

More Resources

  1. Tissues and Organs
  2. Fun Facts About the Human Body
  3. Which Organs Can You Live Without?
  4. Exploring the Human Body
  5. Human Body Explained for Kids
  6. Travel Nursing Jobs
  7. What's the Difference Between Organs and Systems?