Boy reading on his own

Supporting a child with voice problems

A child with voice problems may sound hoarse or have difficulty with the pitch or volume of their voice. Voice problems can develop for many reasons. A child may almost completely lose their voice, e.g., after lots of shouting.

Some tips

  • Discourage shouting and loud voice.
  • Reduce the amount of background noise at home so that your child does not have to raise their voice to be heard.
  • Encourage your child to approach others face to face when speaking, rather than calling out from room to room.
  • Promote quiet play activities. Activities such as, building games, doing puzzles, looking at books or silent reading, provide opportunities for voice rest.
  • Encourage quiet time after an activity that has been more vocally demanding (e.g., playing football). The quiet time will allow your child’s voice to rest and recover.
  • Discourage imitation of T.V. characters or unusual voices. Many characters in films and on children’s programmes use harsh, strained voices.
  • Don’t ask your child to whisper.  Whilst you may be tempted to ask your child to whisper when they are hoarse, whispering can place additional strain on the voice. It is much better to encourage your child to rest their voice/have quiet time.
  • Help your child to stay hydrated. Drinking water is best. Water helps the body to produce clear thin mucus, to lubricate the vocal cords, this helps with voice.
  • Encourage your child to drink water regularly to combat the drying effects of medications that can be dehydrating and can dry out the throat (e.g., inhalers for asthma or antihistamines for allergies).
  • If your child coughs or clears their throat a lot, ask them to sip water or to swallow instead.


Useful links

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, NHS Foundation Trust
British Voice Association : Free Voice Care literature

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