Kids grow every year, changing and moving so they can turn into the really cool adults they’re destined to be. Over the course of their childhood adventures, they get stronger, learn more, and develop personalities, which is easy to track on the outside. Inside, their bones are undergoing fascinating changes so they can transform. Bones provide structure, protect vital organs, and make humans mobile! One of the tricky things about childhood is that kids need to play rough, engage in sports, jump on and off things, and experience life in order to develop a sense of physics, their own limitations, learn about their talents, and what they enjoy, but sometimes these things can lead to a broken bone! Some of the hardest parts of the body are easily damaged, and quite delicate. Fortunately, doctors can fix those. Understanding their bones and bodies can help kids be safe while they explore and help the adults in their lives raise them with fun, adventure, safety, and the right nutrients to grow.
Here are 4 interesting facts about kids’ bones:
- The skull has 22 bones in it. This series of bones are some of the most important and will harden over the course of someone’s life. They are very delicate in infants and get more solid over time. To protect the skull, kids and adults wear helmets when they ride their bikes or skateboards.
- Calcium is an important nutrient vital to ensuring bones develop correctly. Strong bones help people grow well, reduce bone damage, and help them stay healthy for decades. Everyone knows cow’s milk has calcium, but other good sources include oranges, almonds, broccoli, collard greens, kale, chickpeas, and white beans. If your kid doesn’t like milk or is lactose intolerant, there are still plenty of healthy ways to keep those bones strong.
- Babies are born with 300 bones, but when humans are full-grown they only have 206. So what happened to 94 bones? They fused! Well, actually a lot of them were cartilage, a tissue harder than most but softer than bones, which merge over time and harden into bone.
- Kid bones are more flexible than adult bones, which is why they break easier, but also heal easier. If a bone is broken as a child, it is more likely to heal rapidly, and usually doesn’t require surgery. When adults break a bone, it usually requires more complicated splints and surgery.
Challenge: Try to memorize all 206 bones in the adult human body as a family! Do you think you can do it?
By: Bethany Verrett