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What causes Hiccups?

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Learning Pod

What are Hiccups?

Diaphragmatic spasms. Whaat?!
Your diaphragm, a dome shaped muscle helps you breathe. It separates your lungs from your stomach and intestines. When you breathe in air, it pulls down the air into your lungs and when you exhale it lets the air escape through your mouth and nose.

What if you hastily ate your food or drank too many soft drinks? That could make your diaphragm contract involuntarily. The inhaled air gets pulled in to the lungs.
So, the glottis (the fold of skin located above the wind pipe) closes. This produces the hic sound. Usually, you will hiccup for 63 times at one go before you stop.

How to get rid of Hiccups?

  • Hold your nose tightly so as to not let any air come in or go out. Why do you think this could work? It helps you to control your breathing.
  • Close your mouth and hold your lips as close to each other, as you can.
  • How to stop hiccups another way – Stick your tongue out for a few seconds or insert your fingers in your ears.
  • Drinking water or eating sugar can reduce hiccups.
  • Another hiccups treatment is a good hearty laugh.
  • If you are not allergic to peanuts, then eat some peanut butter to treat hiccups.
  • How about helping your mom chop up some onions to get free from hiccups?
  • How about using hot and cold to heal hiccups? Drink a glass of hot chocolate followed by a scoop of cold chocolate chip ice cream.
  • You could blow up balloons.
  • Or you could just sing nursery rhymes like Row row row your boat.

4 Interesting Facts about Hiccups

  1. Only mammals that drink milk have hiccups.
  2. Baby hiccups – a baby, while in the womb can hiccup! Hiccups strengthen a baby’s diaphragm. They also prepare a baby for breathing.
  3. A pig farmer, Charles Osborne, hiccupped for 68 years!
  4. Only 4% of people have never experienced hiccups.

Looking for more biology articles and videos? Go to: Biology for Kids.

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