Children can develop difficulties with voice production. They may not complain of a sore throat but their voice may sound hoarse, croaky or strained. Some children may start the day with little voice and others may find their voice deteriorates during the day.
Whatever the cause of the problem your child will need to see their GP and may need to be referred to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department. Depending on the outcome the Speech and Language Therapist may provide specific voice care advice.
How to help
- Voice Rest- Aim for balance in using voice e.g. if your child has played football or been playing with friends they will have used their voice a lot. Try and get them to sit down e.g. to watch a favourite programme, look at a book, colour in a picture
- Keep Hydrated- Increase fluid intake but avoid very hot or very cold drinks.
- If rooms, especially bedrooms, are too hot the air becomes very dry. Try having a dish or saucer of water near the bed to moisten the air and have a drink of water for the child to sip when they wake up.
- Keep the home smoke free as this can irritate the voice.
- Think about the home environment- is it noisy? Is the TV/music always on? Can you reduce the noise levels at home? Try and limit how much the child needs to raise their voice over background noise.
- Take turns- Try and set good examples in the family, everyone should try not to shout and to take turns in speaking.
- Try and reduce the Shouting / screaming / loud laughing /arguing when playing with friends or brothers and sisters
- Try not to encourage the child to shout up or down the stairs to one another.
- Avoid whispering- this can be as damaging to the voice as shouting. If the voice is reduced to a whisper only try resting it.
The British Voice Foundation has more information and resources on their website, www.britishvoiceassociation.org.uk
Great Ormond Street Hospital also have some useful information and resources here: