Protecting your child’s voice from day-to-day is essential to help them prevent voice problems. Problems can appear as children straining to talk, getting tired easily when talking or changes in their voice quality.

Having voice difficulties is not uncommon in children. Children can develop these through shouting and screaming frequently during play or when they have a meltdown.

Vocal nodules are one of the most common types of voice disorders in children caused by small growths on their vocal folds. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Breathy voice
  • Occasions where the child loses their voice
  • Unusual variation of pitch when talking or sudden changes in pitch
  • Straining to speak
  • Hoarse voice


Strategies to protect your child’s voice

General strategies can be used to prevent or minimise the chances of vocal strain.

  1. Drink plenty of water. This helps keep the child’s voice box hydrated and helps them to vocalise well.
  2. For children who tend to frequently shout – use a volume chart. This provides a visual cue for the child to keep their volume at an appropriate level when talking.
  1. Remind your child to minimise screaming or shouting in open areas and noisy environments. This prevents the child from overusing their voice extensively when shouting, which might hurt their voice box as a result.
  2. Schedule multiple short periods of vocal rest or quiet time during day and night. Make sure they are clear about this routine so that they know they are expected to be quiet.
  3. Praise your child when they are following the above strategies.
  4. Last but not least, if you have been hearing changes in your child’s voice quality which are not improving, do not hesitate to consult a specialist doctor (ear nose throat (ENT) doctor) or a Speech and Language Therapist.