Voice problems are fairly common in children, with about five per cent of children experiencing a chronic (long-lasting) voice disorder. These are frequently underdiagnosed and may be accepted as typical of childhood. These mainly arise from inappropriate voice use rather than a serious illness. However, for others medical or anatomical reasons could be possible.
If your child has a voice disorder, their voice may sound:
Children with voice disorders often have voices that tire easily or they have difficulty projecting their voice.
Poor voice quality may make it hard for your child to communicate effectively, and may make them lose self-confidence or affect the way other people see them. Infants with voice disorders may have a cry that is weak/harsh or hoarse in quality, or they may have noisy breathing.
If your child has a hoarse voice that is getting worse or if you are concerned about your child's voice for any reason, see your GP for advice. Your child may be referred to a speech and language therapist, specialist doctor - Paediatrician or Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist.
Voice disorders in children are usually caused by:
Here are some general hints and tips to help care for a child's voice An ENT specialist and SLT will be able to provide advice specific to each individuals needs.
Children and young people whose speech / language or communication skills appear to be developing at a slower rate and / or following a different pattern to their peers.
Children, young people and adults who seek support to manage a stammer / stutter with greater ease and confidence.