5 Interesting Facts About the Thyroid

fun facts about the thyroid gland for kids

Have you ever heard of the thyroid? This brownish-red gland is in your neck, and it’s about the same size as 2 nickels put together. Even though it’s small, it’s a super important gland. In fact, it’s a major part of your endocrine system. Keep reading to learn some fun facts about your thyroid!

Fun facts about the thyroid

Your thyroid gland is especially important as a kid because it helps you grow and develop.

It’s a big deal for adults, too! When your thyroid is able to do its job, it helps your body turn food into energy for your body.

1. The thyroid is shaped like a bowtie

thyroid is shaped like a neck bowtie

Can you spot the similarity? The thyroid gland has a bowtie-like shape.

It’s also located in a similar place at the front of the neck just under your voice box. Pretty cool, right?

Some people think the thyroid gland looks like butterfly wings. To others, they thyroid gland resembles the letter “H”.

What does the thyroid gland look like to you?

2. It’s like a mini factory

The thyroid gland is like a special factory that makes chemicals called hormones.

Thyroid hormones act like messengers that tell your body how to use energy from food. They help your body burn energy so you can grow big and strong.

Here are some more fun facts about thyroid hormones:

  • They make your heart beat speed up.
  • They make you breathe faster and take in more oxygen
  • They activate bone growth in kids.

3. It needs a special ingredient called iodine

seaweed is rich in iodine

Iodine is a mineral found in seaweed and also other foods like fish, milk, and eggs.

When you eat foods that contain iodine, your body absorbs the iodine and sends it to your thyroid gland.

Then, your thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones.

4. It affects how you feel

The hormones from your thyroid gland can affect your mood, energy, and emotions.

If your thyroid gland is not working properly, you could feel exhausted, sad, jittery, and/or anxious.

5. You can live without your thyroid

It’s true: life can go on without a thyroid.

Sometimes, the thyroid gland can get sick and stop working properly. If it doesn’t make enough hormones, you might feel tired and have trouble growing. If the thyroid makes too many hormones, you might feel really hyper and have trouble sleeping.

But don’t worry. If there’s a problem with the thyroid, doctors can fix it with medicine or surgery. So, it’s important to listen to your body and tell a doctor if you’re not feeling well.

Pictures of the thyroid gland

fun facts about thyroid gland anatomy for kids
The thyroid is located in front of the neck.
Doctor holding 3D thyroid voice box anatomy model
Here’s a doctor holding an anatomy model of a thyroid and voice box.
thyroid trachea lungs labeled anatomy diagram for kids
Human anatomy diagram of the thyroid and airways.
goiter enlarged thyroid gland in neck
Sometimes the thyroid swells up and grows so big that you can see the bump in the neck. This is called a goiter.

More fun facts about your body

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Human Body Learning Lab is the best anatomy book for kids! Have fun learning science facts and health tips with cool hands-on projects and diverse, realistic images!

Updated on May 16, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD

Updated on May 16, 2023

by Betty Choi, MD