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MLA Full: "Why Do We Get Sick?" YouTube, uploaded by SciShow Kids, 28 February 2017,
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APA Full: SciShow Kids. (2017, February 28). Why Do We Get Sick? [Video]. YouTube.
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Chicago Full: SciShow Kids, "Why Do We Get Sick?", February 28, 2017, YouTube, 14:50,
Getting a cold or flu can be sort of scary. But sometimes the more you know about something, the less scary it is!
#education #science #elementary #learning
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Colds and Flus:



Soap and Water:

 (00:00) to (02:00)

Bless you!

Squeaks isn't feeling very well today. Everybody gets sick.

Even robot rats. And getting the cold or flu can be sort of scary. But, sometimes, the more you know about something, the less scary it is.

So, Squeaks and I decided to take a look back at everything we've learned about how we get sick and what we can do to feel better. First, why do you get sick in the first place and what does your body do to help you feel better?

When it gets cold outside, it's time to bundle up and take good care of yourself because cold weather time is cold and flu season.

You've heard of colds. Everyone gets them. That's when you get sneezy and coughy and maybe you're running a temperature.

The flu is just another kind of cold and it's really no fun. It makes you feel achy and sore and hot and all around miserable. But, have you ever wondered what causes a cold and the flu?  Well, they're both caused by something called a virus.

Viruses are very small. Too small to see even with most microscopes. They can make a big difference in your body though because they can make you sick. [Squeaks makes squeaking sounds].

Yes Squeaks, since viruses can make us sick, we sometimes call them germs. But, not all germs are viruses. But, the ones that can cause the flu and colds definitely are.

Now, in order to make you sick, the flu virus has to get into our body first. It usually gets in through our nose, our mouth or our eyes. And, once it gets in, the virus starts to make copies of itself until there are lots and lots of them in there.

But, don't worry, your body has ways to fight back. It might seem kinda weird, but sometimes its the things that your body does to fight the virus and other germs that makes you feel kinda yucky. Take, for example, mucus.

That's the sticky, runny stuff that comes out of your nose. Your body makes mucus to trap the flu virus that are in your nose and mouth. When mucus runs down your nose it carries the flu virus with it.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

Along with other stuff your body has used to knock them out.

Gross, maybe. But it works!

When mucus runs down the back of your throat, after a while, it can make it hurt, too. That's why you sometimes get a sore throat when you're sick. But washing out the virus isn't the only thing your body can do to fight the flu.

Can you think of another thing that most of us do when we're not feeling very well? [Squeaks makes squeaking noises] You're right, Squeaks! We sneeze. When you sneeze, air comes out of your mouth and throat really quickly.

As the air goes by, it picks up some of the virus pieces and carries them outside of your body. So, sneezing is your body's way of sending viruses and other germs on their way. Now, if you've ever had the flu, you probably know what a fever is.

A fever is another way that our bodies try to get rid of the virus. When germs are inside your body, it can make itself hotter than normal. And guess what?

Viruses hate that! Because when it gets too hot, it's harder for the viruses to make copies of themselves. And that, helps your body get rid of germs more easily.

So, your body has lots of cool ways to defend itself. But what else can you do to make yourself feel better when you get sick? Well, getting lots of rest is one of the best things you can do when you're not feeling well.

When you rest, you save energy, and your body can use that energy to get rid of that virus. Another thing you can do is drink a lot. Healthy things like water, some juices, and even soup will give your body the things it needs to help you feel better soon.

Of course, the best thing to do, is to not get sick in the first place. And to help with that, the number one thing to do is... [Squeaks makes squeaking noises] Wash your hands! A lot.

Plain old warm water and soap can go a long way in keeping you from getting sick. It's especially important to wash your hands when you get home from school or the store. And remember how we said that the flu virus often gets in through your nose, mouth, and eyes?

The other thing you can do is to keep your hands away from these parts of the body, as much as you can. Even though, it can be hard to remember sometimes. And you can also keep germs from spreading to other people by covering up your coughs and sneezes.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Remember, germs are leaving your body and going into the air when you cough and sneeze, so if you can cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then throw the tissue away. And then, wash your hands.  If you can't get to a tissue in time, then cough into your elbow instead of your hands. So, try to keep to keep clean and stay healthy so you can go outside and enjoy the cold weather. 

*Sneaze*  Ohhh,  squeaks you know your supposed to cover your nose when you sneeze.  Do you want me to get sick to? *Squeaks shakes head with squeaky noise*  Oh, that's alright buddy, here you go.  *sighs* Sneazing is one way your body keeps germs and other gross stuff out, so if you don't cover your mouth you might just give everyone around you your germs.   

*sighs heavily* Hey, it's cleaning day! Today we're doing a little tiding up around the fort.  We're sweeping, dusting *sneeze* ... Oh, sorry guys, that was a big sneeze.  You know, when I think about it cleaning is not the only time I sneeze, sometimes I sneeze when I'm around flowers, and I sneeze a lot when I have a cold and I bet you can think of some thing that make you sneeze too. It happens to everyone, but have you ever wondered why?

Every sneeze starts right inside your nose.  The inside of your nose is covered in a lot of really tiny really fine hairs, and there's also a lot of mucus inside your nose. Yep, mucus, the same gooey sticky stuff that shows up in your tissue when you blow your nose.  The hairs and mucus work together to catch tiny particles that are in the air you breath, like bits of dust, or pollen from flowers, or even a bit of pepper you might put on your food.  These things clog up the inside of your nose, causing it to get irritated, which means it feels kind of tickly.  

You might also feel that tickle when your sick.  That's because the inside of your nose is being attacked by lots and lots of tiny little things like viruses or bacteria. When your nose gets irritated by any of these things, it sends a signal to your brain that tells it "we gotta get this stuff out of your nose, It's time to sneeze".  So, you take in a big breath of air. *sucks in air* The muscles in your belly, chest and throat all squeeze really hard you close your eyes and then the air leaves your nose and throat in a big noisy blast.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

[sneezes from Squeaks]

Which hopefully clears all of those irritating things out of your nose.

Some scientists study sneezes and they found that sneezing can send air flying out of our noses and mouths at over 100 kilometers per hour. That's as fast as some race cars.

And sneezing is what's called a reflex. A reflex is something that your body does without you having to think about it. Blinking is another kind of reflex. When dust and other little things bother your eyes. And so is coughing if something is tickling your throat.

Reflexes help protect our bodies from getting hurt or becoming sick. So sneezing helps you keep healthy by clearing out the inside of your nose. If you didn't sneeze some of the particles or germs inside your nose might move deeper inside your body, and those might make you sick. 

A nice big sneeze also helps smooth out all those little hairs inside your nose. And spread around fresh mucus inside your nose to get it all ready to trap more particles. But when you sneeze don't forget to cover it up because air isn't the only thing that leaves your body when your nose starts to go off. Sneezing also blasts saliva or spit and a lot of germs from our mouth into the air around us. 

Some scientists think that germs launched by a sneeze can travel about 60 meters. Which is over half the length of a football field. So when you sneeze it's important to keep those germs from spreading by putting something in front of them.

If you don't have a tissue handy, sneeze into your elbow and don't forget to wash up with soap and water afterwards. And remember sneeze safely and keep healthy. 

Having a runny nose is no fun, but boogers are an important part of your body's anti-germ(?) security system. Snout is really sticky so it can trap germs before they get farther into your body. So it's helpful stuff. Ohhhhh(?), even if it's pretty gross. 

Here's a handy tip for those of you who happen to have a human body. When something comes out of your body on a regular basis, your body probably's(?) got a good reason for getting rid of it.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

Like sometimes, if there's too much gas in our stomachs, it'll just go right back up the way it came in. And, [Burps from Squeaks]. And generally speaking, the same idea goes for whatever you might find coming out of your nose.

Our noses get full of slimy, gooey(?), and sometimes crusty stuff. You know what I'm talking about. Boogers. And, yeah, boogers are pretty gross, but keep in mind that almost everything that makes up our bodies has a purpose. That is, until it's time for it to leave.

So, where do boogers come from? And, why are they there? Let's start with what happens when you take in a breath. 

When you breathe in or, inhale,  your're not only pulling air into your lungs, you're also taking in a lot of what's floating around in the air. Stuff that's too small to see like dust and dirt, pollen from plants, smoke and other kind of pollution, and germs. 

If these things get into your body, they could make you sick. But thankfully, your body has powerful weapon to help trap these things before they get too far. And that weapon, is mucus. Yep, the same gooey, slimy snout that clogs up your tissue and runs out of your nose when you have a cold or allergies. That stuff has a purpose. 

When you breathe in and out, air moves through your mouth and nose and down to your lungs. These parts of your bodies make up your respiratory system.

The job of your respiratory system is to help your body get the oxygen it needs from the air. And all of the parts of your respiratory system are lined with a thin layer of mucus even when you're not sick. 

Your body make a lot of mucus, but usually you don't notice it. That's because the mucus is normally really thin and watery. It helps keep the parts of your respiratory system moist and healthy, but it's also really, really sticky.

And as the air you breathe passes over it, many of the teeny tiny particles in air, the germs, dust and other irritating things stick to it and get trapped. 

Then, it's time to take out the trash. Little hairs is the back of your nose and lungs called cilia act like brooms, sweeping the mucus to your throat where it gets swallowed and goes right to your stomach. But don't worry, the inside of your stomach is full of chemicals that help destroy all the germs and other stuff so you don't get sick. 

 (10:00) to (12:00)

But what about that stuff up your nose?

Well, sometimes the air you breathe in is really dry and when you breathe in a lot of dry air, the mucus inside your nose, instead of being thin and watery gets dry and crusty, kind of like what happens to mud when its dries out.

The hard things left behind, the dried up mucus and dirt are the boogers. The stuff stuck in that mucus when it dries out can change the colour of what comes out of your nose.

Sometimes mucus has tiny bits of blood which makes it brown.

And sometimes your body send cells to kill the germs stuck in the mucus and these cells have chemicals in them that can make the mucus kind of green or pink.

But no matter what's in them, blow your nose in a tissue, don't pick it.

Boogers are full of germs that were trapped by that mucus and some of those germs could still spread disease. Afterall, that boogers are there because mucus has kept that stuff out of your body.

So keep a tissue handy and blow your nose, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Good manners are also good science.

Your body works hard to stop germs and keep you from getting sick, but there are things you can do to help too. 

One important thing you can do is to wash your hands a lot. Especially after you sneeze.

But how does soap wash away the germs and other gross stuff that can make you sick?

Do you know the very best way to learn something. By asking questions. No one knows everything after all so something comes up that you just don't understand, ask someone that you think could help. 

I've been thinking about this because of our friend the giant squid. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about why things float in the water and I said some things float in the tub when you're taking a bath and other things don't. 

But Squid lives in the ocean and he doesn't take baths so he asked me what baths were and why we take them.

Squid: What's a bath? (?)

Jessie:Well, up here, we like to clean ourselves by soaking in a tub full of nice, warm, soapy water. 

S: That sounds gross. Do you mean that humans just walk around all day getting dirty?

And do you know what's really great? After one of our viewers, Zoey, saw that episode, she thought of another question. So she wrote to us and asked,

 (12:00) to (14:00)

How do baths work? And how do soap and water get us clean? Another great question.

First, water's good at dissolving a lot of things. When I say water dissolves something, I mean that it breaks it down into smaller pieces that get mixed in with the water.

So for example, when you rinse your muddy hands under a running faucet, two things happen. One, the force of the water pushes the mud off your hands and two, the water dissolves some of the stuff that makes up the mud, washes it down the drain. Cool, right? But what about baths?

Before we can dive into that, we should probably take a quick look at how we get dirty in the first place. Your skin makes its own oil. This natural oil helps your skin stay soft and healthy.

And your skin also makes sweat which we've talked about before too. Sweat is mostly salt and water.

When the water in your sweat dries up, it helps cool your body down. But it leaves that salt and other stuff behind so all during the day, dirt and dust sticks to the salt and oil.

If you let the dirt and oil build up for too long, it becomes a goo place for bacteria and other very tiny living things. So it's a good idea to wash often.

Now when you get in the tub, the water dissolves the salt and a lot of the dirt that gets stuck on your skin, but one thing water can't dissolve is the oil itself. Why? Because oil and water just don't mix.

You can see so for yourself. If you pour some water in a glass and add a bit of cooking oil you'll see that they form two completely different layers. Water particles are small and stick together very tightly, but oil particles are bigger and don't stick together as well. 

So if water can't mix with oil to wash it away, then how can you get that oil off your skin. That's where soap comes to the rescue.

Soap can't dissolve oil, but it can stick to it really well and help wash it away. If you could look at the particles that make up soap, you could see that they each have two different ends.

And each end is attracted to or pulled toward different kinds of things. One end of the soap particle is pulled toward water and the other is pulled toward oil.

So when you mix soap with oil and water, one side of each little soap particle sticks to the oil while the other side sticks to the water. And then when you rinse off, the soap, oil, and water all go right down the drain. 

 (14:00) to (14:50)

So now you know how water and soap work together to get us squeaky clean in the tub. And if you happen to see squid before I do, tell him yourself. Okay Squeaks, ther's one more thing you have to do before you get better. Rest.

It's time for you to say goodbye to our friends and go lie down. The next time you get a cold or the flu, remember that your body is working overtime to help you feel better fast. Just get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. And you'll be outside playing again in no time.

If you have a question for us about germs, booger, fevers, or anything else, get a grown-up(?) to help you leave a comment down or send us an email to Thanks, and see you next time here at the fort.