Voice refers to the sound that the vocal cords make when they vibrate. Examples of voice difficulties in children include an unusually whispered, husky or hoarse voice, frequently ‘losing the voice’, or having an unusually high or low pitch.
Looking after your voice
Below is a list of things you can do to look after your voice (or ask your child to do).
- Drink enough water, and regularly sip water during the day if your throat feels dry.
- When the throat feels tired or sore make sure it gets some rest. This means talking and singing less.
- Reduce using ‘sound effects’ (like animal noises, funny voices in stories, or putting on a voice) when the voice is sore or tired.
- Reduce yelling and screaming behaviour where possible.
When do I refer to Speech Pathology?
Your child might need to see a speech pathologist if their voice is affecting school, they are regularly ‘losing’ their voice, the voice difficulty is getting worse, or you or your child are concerned. You may be asked to see an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) to look down at the vocal cords with a special camera before starting any therapy.
Depending on the services available in your area, or the difficulties your child is having, your child may be referred to a different speech pathology clinic that has additional experience managing voice difficulties in children. Your local speech pathologist will be able to advise you regarding this.
The below links provide further voice related information, fact sheets and referal details.
- Voice disorders – The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
- Speech Pathology at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead