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Tips for Good Vocal Hygiene

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Does your child have a raspy, hoarse voice? Excessive talking, screaming, and yelling are just a few of the behaviors that may lead to hoarseness. Here are some tips for good vocal hygiene!

Noisy Environments

•Encourage your child to face the person he/she is speaking to

•Have your child over articulate rather than speak louder

•Encourage your child to get closer to the person they want to speak to instead of yelling across distances

•Make sure that background noise is reduced when speaking (e.g. turn off or lower the television/music)

Excessive Talking

•Encourage your child to be a better listener when having conversations with others

•Encourage your child to take turns speaking with friends and family

•Have your child take vocal naps throughout the day (i.e. rest voice for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a day)

•Promote periods of quiet time throughout the day and the use of an inside voice when inside

 

Alternatives to Yelling, Screaming, and Talking too Loud

•Have your child use non-vocal sounds (e.g. clapping, whistling) to gain attention from someone else

•Have your child use facial expressions (e.g. smiling, frowning) and physical gestures (e.g. waving) to

  express emotions

•Encourage your child to always speak at a normal volume, regardless of the environment

•Encourage your child to speak slowly and clearly

 

Self-Monitoring of Voice

•Encourage your child to keep a daily journal documenting vocal use; this will help your child to become more aware of his/her patterns of speech and loudness of voice in a variety of situations

 

Stay Hydrated

•Make sure your child is drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day!

•Reduce/eliminate intake of caffeinated beverages (i.e. soda) as these dry out the vocal cords

•A cool mist humidifier may be helpful if your home is extremely dry or dusty

 

Adequate Sleep or Rest

•Make sure your child is getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night – optimal vocal quality can be achieved  with adequate amount of rest/sleep!

*You may need to consult with a pediatrician or speech-language pathologist if your child’s voice quality does not improve. They will determine if a visit to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor) is necessary to determine a specific diagnosis and treatment plan for your child.