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How Does Your Heart Work?


How does your heart keep you alive? How does it pump blood? Why is blood so important? Why do children have heart surgeries? Why is a baby's heartbeat faster before it's born? Why does blood rush to your head when you're upside down? Why can you feel your heart in your head when you're lying still or under water?

In this episode of But Why, we're going talking about a very special muscle! It keeps us alive and it has its own special rhythm: the heart. Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jane Crosson from Johns Hopkins Hospital answers questions about the heart.


"How is blood made?" - Luke, 6, Georgia

This episode features a really cool coloring page by Vermont artist Hilary Ann Love Glass. Download and print it here. You can color as you listen!

"Blood is made in your bones," Dr. Crosson says. If you were to look inside the center of your bones, you'd see that the inside is red. That's marrow. "That's where the blood is made, and it gets out of the bones and into the blood stream, to keep oxygen and food moving around."

"How do hearts keep you alive?" -Isabel, 5, California

"Once the blood is made, the heart's job is to pump it around all through your body, because the blood is there to give all of the food and the oxygen, which keeps your body alive, to deliver all of that stuff to all of the parts of your body, all the way down to your toes, your fingers into your stomach and your brain and everything else," Dr. Crosson says.  

A heart is a pump, it keeps that blood flowing. Without your heart, your blood wouldn't get to where it needs to go.

Read the full transcript.

About the coloring page artist: Hilary Glass is an illustrator, printmaker and tattoo artist living in Vermont. Her content often explores flora and fauna from her local woodlands as well as imaginary creatures from other worlds entirely.  She uses pen and ink, colored pencils, watercolor and gauche as her primary illustration tools and loves to depict most things with great detail and attention to posture and body language.  You can find more info on Instagram @hilaryannloveart and at the website

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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