Pediatric Voice Disorders

Disorders that affect the vocal cords can occur in children as well. Voice disorders in the pediatric population can be quite different compared to those that affect adults, and they should be evaluated by those experienced with the pediatric ENT conditions. Here at Atlanta Institute for ENT, not only do we love our pediatric patients, our specialists are incredibly well-versed with the conditions that are unique to children and newborns.

Thankfully, the most common causes of chronic hoarseness in children are typically benign and not life-threatening. However, an abnormal cry or hoarseness in a newborn may indicate a neurological (brain/nerve) condition that requires immediate attention. Chronic hoarseness that occurs after the first few months of life, can have a variety of causes, including:

  • Infection
  • Gastropharyngeal reflux
  • Vocal nodules
  • Papilloma


Symptoms of voice disorders in the pediatric population include those commonly seen in the adult population such as hoarseness, a “lump-in-the-throat” sensation, neck pain, decreased pitch range, voice, and body fatigue. Stridor is also a common symptom of voice disorders in children. Stridor, the medical term for noisy breathing, can be a sign of airway obstruction or narrowing of the larynx or trachea. Any difficulty in breathing requires immediate medical attention.

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