How to Prevent Child Voice Problems During the Summer Season

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Glee, you’ll know how important “having a voice” is to kids, in all senses of the somewhat cheesy phrase. However, summer can put your child’s wellbeing at risk of literal voice problems, as this is the time when your kids get outside and run around. Even though we all temporarily have voice problems at some point in our lives, five out of every 100 children have a chronic voice disorder, requiring special therapy or even surgery. So how can you protect family wellness from voice problems through the active summer season?

Firstly, you need to be a good example with your own voice use. Instead of talking to your kids over the TV or music, turn it down or pause it. Also, don’t try to talk over people, or foster an environment in which this is the norm, but instead institute turn-taking in conversations at the table so people are not talking over each other. Another way you can lead by example is with your drinking habits; taking sips of water throughout the day and steering clear from caffeinated beverages, as these can dry your throat. Further, if your child is taking part in a sports event, it can be tempting to cheer until your voice box is shredded to pieces, but why not replace some of the cheering with a whistle or other noisemaker?

When you’re at home with your kids, try to discourage yelling and calling to each other from room to room. Instead, talk face-to-face as much as possible – which, let’s face it, is a lot more pleasant anyway! Teach your kids about appropriate speaking volume, and how they need to take care of their voice. Praise the children when they come over to you and talk instead of shouting, or when they make an effort to use their “inside voice”. After periods of loud, noisy activities, try to implement 15-minute vocal breaks with a quiet time. Make sure your kids can enjoy this time, by suggesting fun activities like reading, listening to music or a story, watching TV or making a game out of communicating without talking. Plus, it’ll be a nice break from all the noise!


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