- Name: Immune
- System Name: The Immune System
- Location: Throughout the body
- Purpose: Protect the body from foreign organisms
- Main Components: Innate and adaptive immune system
- Organs: Adenoid, appendix, bone marrow, lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, peyer’s patches, spleen, thymus and the tonsils
18 Immune System Facts for Kids
- The immune system is a biological system that protects the human body from pathogens.
- The human immune system is basically an army ready to defend against any microorganism that invades the body.
- Pathogens that the immune system can defend against include viruses, bacteria and fungus.
- There are two main components to the immune system, the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
- The innate immune system provides an immediate, but non-specific response to a pathogen.
- The adaptive immune system is activated by the innate immune system and provides a specific response to a pathogen.
- The adaptive immune system can create an immunological memory, which means it can remember how it responded to a pathogen in the past and deploy the same defense mechanism.
- White blood cells, also known as leucocytes or leukocytes, are cells created by the immune system in bone marrow.
- There are five types of white blood cells and they are basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils.
- A human body not fighting an infection will have between 4,000 and 11,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood.
- A fever is caused by your immune system, not the infection. Your body increases its temperature to activate the immune system and create an environment that’s harder for viruses and bacteria to thrive.
- Allergies are caused by the human immune system. Harmless things like pollen or a specific type of food are interrupted by the immune system as a pathogen and launch an immune response, which results in allergy symptoms.
- Humans have developed vaccines that can teach the body how to fight a specific pathogen and provide immunity.
- The smallpox vaccine was able to eradicate the smallpox viruses and there hasn’t been a smallpox infection since 1977.
- Sleep is important for a healthy immune system and poor sleeping habits can weaken your immune system.
- Autoimmune diseases are caused by the immune system attacking normal cells in the human body.
- Washing your hands regularly can keep you from picking up a pathogen.
- The immune system gets more effective by learning. Washing your hands and cleaning is important, but if you over do it and don’t expose yourself to pathogens, you’re minimizing the development of your immune system.
Pictures of the Immune System
A diagram that shows you all of the different parts of the human immune system.
A picture of a white blood cell (yellow) attacking anthrax bacteria (orange).
Credit: Volker Brinkmann
A picture of the human immune system fighting something in a microscope.
Credit: Giniger lab, NIH/NINDS
Additional Resources on the Human Immune System
- How the Immune System Works – Discover how the human immune system works on the Johns Hopkins website.
- Human Immune System Diagram – A great diagram of the human immune system by Live Science.
- Immune System Diseases – Learn about the different diseases and disorders that can affect the human immune system.
- Immune System – Wikipedia – Find out more about the human immune system on the Wikipedia website.