Your Kid’s Body

Night Terrors

What Are Night Terrors? Most parents have comforted their child after the occasional nightmare. But if your child has ever had what’s known as a night terror (or sleep terror), his or her fear was likely inconsolable, no matter what you tried. A night terror is a sleep disruption that seems similar to a nightmare, but …

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What Is Collagen?

What Is Collagen? Collagen (KOL-uh-jin) is a protein in the body. Different types of collagen are in many body parts, including hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and intestines. What Does Collagen Do? Collagen has many different roles in the body. It: helps make bones strong lets the skin and tendons stretch helps with healing after …

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The Spleen

What Is the Spleen? The spleen is a fist-sized organ in the upper left part of the belly under the ribcage. It helps protect the body by clearing worn-out red blood cells and other foreign bodies (such as germs) from the bloodstream. The spleen is part of the lymphatic system, which is an extensive drainage network. The …

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Overweight and Obesity

Doctors use the medical terms “overweight” or “obese” to tell if someone has a greater chance of developing weight-related health problems. How Are Overweight and Obesity Defined? Body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight measurements to estimate a person’s body fat. But calculating BMI on your own can be complicated. An easier way is to use …

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Growth Plates

What Is a Growth Plate? Growth plates are the areas of new bone growth in children and teens. They’re made up of cartilage , a rubbery, flexible material (the nose, for instance, is made of cartilage). Most growth plates are near the ends of long bones. Long bones are bones that are longer than they are wide. They include: …

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Growth Charts

What Are Growth Charts? Kids grow at their own pace. Big, small, tall, short — there is a wide range of healthy shapes and sizes among children. Genetics, gender, nutrition, physical activity, health problems, environment, and hormones all play a role in a child’s height and weight. And many of these things can vary widely from family …

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