Physiology of Young Children

In terms of physiology, young children differ greatly from adults. Differences exist in with respect to the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and muscular systems. For the cardiovascular system, adults are known to breathe in more air than children. However, children have higher resting and maximal heart rates than adults. Children may exceed 220 beats per minute while adults rarely exceed 205 beats per minute. Alternatively, children have a smaller stroke volume, which is the amount of blood pumped by each ventricle per heartbeat. Finally, because a young person has lower body mass, the cardiovascular system has little difficulty supplying fuels to the tissues and removing wastes.

As for the pulmonary system, children have a higher breathing frequency and lower tidal volume, which is the maximum volume of each breath. This means that adults have better ventilation and lung diffusion capacity than children do. Lung diffusion capacity involves the process of moving oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the body respectively. On the other hand, ventilation is the movement of air in and out the lungs and it is expressed in liters per minute. In addition, children have a lower pumping capacity of the heart, which limits lung blood flow and consequently limiting their ability to oxygenate blood at the lungs.

In terms of the muscular system, children have less muscle mass than adults have and this makes it difficult for them to gain muscle power. Muscle growth is caused the increase in testosterone levels, which children do not have. In addition, children have less coordination between the muscles and nervous system, which hinders their optimal performance.

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