Sound effects your child makes can cause damage to your child’s vocal cords.


We have all seen it. The two year old boy playing with his car and making “crash” noises.  The 3 year old playing with superheroes and making a “robo voice”.    Although, it is great that they are involved in pretend play, the sound effects they are making can cause significant damage to their vocal folds and possibly lead to vocal nodules.

Vocal cord nodules are benign (noncancerous) growths on both vocal cords that are caused by vocal abuse. Over time, repeated abuse of the vocal cords results in soft, swollen spots on each vocal cord. These spots develop into harder, callous-like growths called nodules. The nodules will become larger and stiffer the longer the vocal abuse continues.

Usually children develop vocal nodules or vocal strain from two of the following:

  • Excessive or over-enthusiastic talking or singing or shouting
  • Excessive coughing
  • Excessive crying
  • Grunting
  • Throat clearing
  • Making sound effects
  • Dehydration

If your child has started speaking with a hoarse or breathy voice, this may be an indication that his vocal cords are damaged.  If this persists for more than 2 weeks, it is recommended that you make an appointment to see an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor for a thorough examination

Speech therapy can help by showing the child the proper way to use his/her voice, and provide reinforcers/motivators to speak with a “good” voice.  The ultimate goal is to steer the child away from those abusive behaviours and develop healthy vocal habits, allowing the vocal cords to heal.

Other signs of vocal nodules are:

  • Hoarseness
  • Breathiness
  • A “rough” voice
  • A “Scratchy” voice
  • A “lump in the throat”



One Response to Vocal nodules: Information for families
  1. Hello my name is Alleasha and I have a 3 year old and the only word that she says is hi . I have her in early words right now but would be nice to get some more help with her if u could please contact me back that would be great thank you


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