Cold and Flu season is right around the corner, leading to acute cases of laryngitis; temporary changes to your vocal tract. Viruses are one of the leading causes of acute laryngitis in both children and adults. When you get laryngitis, your vocal cords become swollen and irritated often leading to a weakness in vocal production (hoarseness) or even loss of voice (aphonia). Treating the specific cause is most important. However, children who overuse or misuse their voice, can be more susceptible to losing their voice with upper respiratory infections. This season, you and your family may consider a number of helpful ways to protect, maintain, and improve your child’s vocal health.
- Consider turning down or off the volume of your television and or devices, allowing for communication without volume competition.
- Model taking turns when speaking, again reducing need to talk over one another and maintain a more healthy vocal volume
- Vocal rest by aiming for a total of one hour a day, but depending on the age, it may be a few shorter periods. Activities such as coloring, crafts, or self-reading may be used as non-vocal activities.
- Consider drinking water throughout the day in order to maintain vocal cord hydration making them less susceptible to injury. Foods with large amounts of water including carrots, cucumbers, grapes, and apples, can also be helpful
- As always, contact a specialist including a pediatric otolaryngologist or speech language pathologist if the symptoms persist for greater than three weeks.