Voice Problems in Children

Language Express Preschool Speech & Language Services
Media Release – August 08, 2013
submitted by Susan Healey, CPHC

(LEEDS-GRENVILLE, ONTARIO) Some children have harsh or raspy voices. They may have a voice problem. Some voice problems in children are because of breathing or reflux issues, or the child may have some undetected nodules or polyps in their throat. Some voice problems are present at birth and some may develop later. All children with voice problems must be seen by an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist to determine the cause of the problem. Voice therapy with a Speech-Language Pathologist may also be needed.

Symptoms of voice problems that may develop:

· Weak cry (in infants and toddlers)
· Hoarseness or frequent laryngitis
· “Scratchy” throat complaints or want water to soothe their throat
· Breathy, airy speech
· Trouble being heard or understood, especially in school or group settings

What parents can do to help their children have healthy voices:

· Rest the voice. Have quiet time and let your child do something fun like reading, crafts or playing a game.

· Reduce noise. We all speak louder when we are around other sounds, such as the TV, music, or other conversations, so try to keep outside noise to a minimum.

· Have a meaningful conversation with your child every day. This will lessen attention seeking behavior, like yelling, when your child has your attention.

· Take turns in conversations. This allows for conversations without people raising their voices to be heard.

· No yelling! Discourage yelling in the house. Instead of yelling from one room to another, walk to the room where the person is that you want to speak with.

If your child shows any of the symptoms above or if you are concerned, please see your family doctor. Your doctor will be able to help you to take the next steps in helping your child.

(Information taken and adapted from DukeHealth.org article, “Voice Problems in Children”)

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, call the Language Express Preschool Speech System at 1-888-503-8885 / 613-283-2742. A speech-language assessment can identify your child’s strengths and needs, and can help you prepare your child for success in communicating, reading and writing.

For more information, check out our website: http://www.language-express.ca or contact: Catherine Robinson, Clinical Coordinator, Language Express PSL, 613-283-2740 ext 4260.

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