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Tips for Good Vocal Hygiene

Young child yelling

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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.

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
 
Facemasks:
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
 
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
 
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.

 

Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!