What is it?

Voice is the sound produced by air passing from the lungs through the larynx (voice box) when you exhale.  When you speak, the vocal folds at the larynx vibrate. 

Children's voices are judged by whether the pitch, loudness and quality are appropriate.  If any of these features seems unusual, there could be a problem which might require professional intervention by a speech-language pathologist.

What causes it?

There are a variety of voice problems we see in children.  Examples include temporary hoarseness due to cheering or yelling. Vocal misuse over time, such as talking in a pitch that is too high or too low or talking too loudly, could cause a change in vocal quality. Medical conditions with breathing difficulties sometimes effect vocal quality too.

What can I do at home?

Parents can support healthy vocal habits by encouraging children to use appropriate voice volume and avoiding use of  unnatural voices, for example, when imitating animals or motors (growling, barking, etc.).  Keeping your body hydrated by drinking adequate amounts water everyday is very important for vocal health.

If your child's voice seems unusual, contact the speech-language pathologist to discuss your concerns.