Sounding a little hoarse after a lot of shouting or screaming, especially during competing events, can cause a child to have a hoarse voice. This is very normal, and it should resolve itself in a few hours, or sometimes the following day. However, if your child has a continued hoarseness or a change in their voice, then perhaps you should investigate whether there is any other cause that needs treatment. Here are some common causes of hoarseness in children:
- Vocal cord nodules: These are the usual cause of hoarseness and these are created when your child shouts, screams, coughs or sneezes forcefully or does anything else that forces the air to be pushed from the lungs through the vocal cords at speed.
- Vocal cord paralysis: These can happen when a child sustains an injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerves (RLNs). This affects the muscles of the larynx, which in turn affects the sound of the voice.
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease): The continued acidic effect of the reflux can affect the vocal cords causing hoarseness. If this is diagnosed your child will be given a treatment regime to deal with the GERD. There may also be a treatment needed for the hoarseness if the condition has persisted for a long period of time.
- Smoke inhalation: It is normal to have a certain amount of hoarseness if your child has been around a lot of smoke, such as in a fire. Sometimes attending bonfires or barbecues can have the same effect if there is a lot of smoke inhaled, especially if there has be little or no hydration.
- Infections: A throat infection such as laryngitis will make a child’s voice sound hoarse, but that will pass with the infection and no further treatment will be necessary.
- Allergies: Certain allergens can affect the hoarseness of the voice by inflaming or irritating the vocal cords.
- Throat cancer: Before you get worries about the prospect of throat cancer, you will need to have a proper diagnosis. This is the least likely of the causes for hoarseness, but sometimes hoarseness can be the first sign. So, it is best to have your child checked out. The radiation treatment can also causes hoarseness.
What You Should Do About Chronic Hoarseness
As you can see a certain amount of hoarseness can be caused by normal events and the voice will resume of its own accord with rest and the passing of the irritant. However, if the condition is chronic or goes on for some time, you should have your child checked by a health specialist.
Who Should I Consult?
A Pediatric ENT specialist will be able to give your child a thorough check-up and diagnose exactly what the problem is. They will also advise the best form of treatment for that problem, if appropriate. Licensed professionals specializing in ear nose and throat disorders see this kind of problem daily, so rest assured your child will be in the best hands and will be back to their loud, happy ways very quickly.