Approximately 5% of children have voice problems as a result of vocal misuse. Children often scream and yell during school breaks, sporting events, and play time. Prolonged misuse of their vocal cords can lead to the growth of “vocal nodules” on the vocal folds. 

Children also have allergies and enlarged adenoids, which affect their vocal quality. Decongestants and anti-histamines dry out the vocal folds and can also change vocal quality.


A child or adult with a voice disorder can have several voice characteristics, including:

  • hoarseness

  • harshness (low pitch, strained voice)

  • breathiness (whisper-like noise)

  • fluctuating pitch

  • low vocal intensity (soft voice)

  • hypernasality (nasal voice)

  • hyponasality (“stuffed up”)

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