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Pediatrics/Hoarse Voice in Toddler


Good Afternoon-
My 3 year old son started with a cold (mostly just nasal congestion) nine days ago.  Two days later, he developed a hoarse voice.  The pediatrician prescribed steroids for croup (although he never had a barky cough).  He is finished the course of steroids yesterday but is still hoarse in the morning and evening.  He is not coughing and his other cold symptoms have resolved.  

Is it normal for a hoarse voice caused by a cold to persist for one week or should I insist that he be evaluated by an ENT?  It is worse in the morning, evening, and after a crying or yelling fit.

Thank you.

Hi, Brooke,

It is common for cold viruses to cause hoarse voices in children.  They have small airways and a little swelling goes a long way to causing the airway to bang against itself on a deep inspiration.  Hoarseness is usually a prelude to croup, so steroids are often used.  It is common to have a hoarse voice for a couple of weeks.  If he never was hoarse before, I would just wait for things to settle down.  Persistent hoarseness, for months, probably should be seen by an ENT.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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