Raise children’s awareness [Archives:2007/1100/Education]

November 5 2007

Lakshmi Suraj
[email protected]

Children are by nature inquisitive. They have waves of questions arising in their mind relating to several facts and phenomena around them which intrigue their mind and which they want answers for. Here are a few of the frequently asked questions which are briefly explained to raise children's awareness.

Why do people sleep?

We all need sleep to rest our brains and muscles and replenish our energy sources. All animals need sleep. Without sleep our brains don't work as well, our muscles get tired faster and we cannot keep up our energy levels. So go to bed and sleep when your parents tell you to.

Why do people snore?

Everybody snores. The snoring noise we make while sleeping comes from the vibration of our nasal passages as we breathe. The muscles in your nose and throat relax when you sleep and narrow your airways enough to make it easy to snore. Only some people have medical reasons for their snoring. The rest of us naturally make those embarrassing noises in our sleep.

When we cry, why do we have tears?

When we cry we put pressure into our heads. This pressure causes a backup of tears into our eyes from our noses. We also increase our blood flow to our face and eyes, which causes an increase in the amount of tears. These two things cause our eyes to be over filled with tears.

Why do some people get sunburns and some people tan?

Humans have many shades of pigment in their skin. Skin with deeper pigment absorbs more of the Sun's burning rays of light. Anyone, even those with dark skin, can burn if they are exposed to enough sun. Redheads with pale skin are most sensitive to the sun. No matter who you are, use sunscreen to prevent burns. You'll have healthier skin as you grow.

Do we really need breakfast?

Some people don't feel like eating in the morning. However, it's very important to eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast do better in school, snack less and have better weight than those who don't eat breakfast. So listen to your mother and eat your breakfast.

How does hair grow?

Hair is made at the base of a hair follicle. There are a thousand hair follicles on your head. Not all of them are working at the same time. Only about 80% of your follicles are producing hair at any one time. The rest of the follicles are asleep or dormant. When dormant hair follicles start working again, they push out an old hair while making a new one. You could lose 50 to 100 hairs in any day. Some of us lose more than that-and don't get them back again!

Why do we sneeze?

We sneeze to clear our breathing passages. We all have a natural reflex to sneeze whenever a small foreign substance enters our airways. So don't hold back your sneezes-let 'em rip!

Why do we shiver?

When we shiver, our bodies are doing the opposite of sweating. Sweating cools the body by putting a layer of liquid on the skin. Shivering tightens the skin and shakes the muscles, a process that conserves and generates heat. You can stop your shivering by bundling up)just like your mother says.

Where does ear wax come from?

Ear wax is made by skin glands near our ear drums. The wax protects the ear canals and acts as a barrier against bugs and bacteria. Only in cartoons can it be used for candles!

Why do we get body odor?

Most people think we get body odor from sweat. But that's only partially true. Much of our body odor comes from bacteria that live on us and grow in our warm sweat. When bunch of bacteria clings together in close quarters, it emits an unpleasant odor. When we bathe, we wash away the bacteria)and the smell.

Why do we blink?

Blinking protects our eyes from foreign objects, sweeps up dirt that gets in our eyes and lubricates our eyes by spreading tears across the surface. Don't you think that is a lot to accomplish in the “blink of an eye”?

Why are our mouths dry in the morning?

When we sleep, we relax all our muscles, including our jaw muscles. As we relax those muscles our mouths usually fall open, and the air we breathe dries out our mouths. So have that glass of water ready in the morning because no matter what you try to do, your mouth will be dry when you wake up.

Why do we itch?

Our skin has a defense system that makes us aware of annoying things that touch our body. Sometimes that annoying thing is just a fly. But sometimes we come into contact with something like poison ivy that causes a reaction in our skin. Poison ivy or bug bites cause an allergic response that keeps our skin itchy for a while.

It is almost as if poison ivy or bug bites make our skin think that something constantly there irritating our skin. It is best to prevent these reactions. So watch out for poison ivy and use the bug spray your mom bought you for summer camp.