Healthy Voice Tips

Proper use of voice. Make sure your child is using a speaking voice instead of a scream. Also make sure that she is not using too many sound effects or character voices while playing. These habits are abusive to the vocal folds.

Turn down the volume. Keep the radio in your house/car and the volume on the TV soft enough so your child can talk over them. If you notice your child needs to use a louder voice so you can hear her over the radio or TV, turn the volume down.

Limit caffeine. Limit the amount of caffeinated beverages your child consumes. Caffeine can be drying to the vocal folds and can also cause acid to reflux from the stomach. Instead, offer your child water and juices without caffeine. Children should consume a minimum of 1 to 2 quarts of liquid per day. 

Care for acid reflux. If your child has been diagnosed with acid reflux, make sure that he is treated appropriately with the help of his physician.

Teeth brushing. Encourage your child to brush his teeth every morning and night. Try to avoid the use of mouthwashes that contain alcohol or irritating chemicals, which can cause the vocal folds to dry.

Humidity. Make sure that your home has plenty of moisture in the air, especially in the winter (30 percent humidity is recommended).

Nutrition. Make sure your child consumes fruits and vegetables containing vitamins A, E, and C. These vitamins help maintain healthy mucous membranes.

Care for illness. Bring your child to the doctor if you notice her complaining of a sore throat, stuffy nose, painful ears, a cough or allergies. Bacteria from illnesses can affect the vocal folds. 

Exercise. Encourage your child to exercise and stretch. Good posture and proper breathing require stamina and muscle tone, which are necessary for efficient use of the voice for speaking.

Sleep. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep. Overall fatigue can negatively affect the voice.

Reduce stress. Help your child to reduce stress in her life. If you notice your child is stressed talk to her about ways to manage it. Seek professional assistance if needed. Decreasing the number of daily activities in the child’s schedule is also helpful.

Healthy environment. Make sure your child’s environment is free of smoke, dust and fumes (ammonia, paint thinners, disinfectants, etc.)