Does anyone watch Wheel of Fortune?  It's my favorite show (I know, every Grandma watches this show) and my favorite category is Before & After.  Basically, the puzzle will be two phrases with at least one word overlapping.  For my title, I'm combining "vocal play" and "playground."  Sorry... it just made me smile.  :o)

As the kids start back to school, there will be many kiddos who will get a "hoarse" voice.  These kids are probably abusing their vocal folds (or voice box as it is commonly referred).  Here are some actions that are considered vocal abuse:
  • Yelling/Screaming
  • Talking at a pitch that is not optimal for your voice
  • Talking loud (we naturally talk louder on cell phones and in cars with road noise)
  • Too much singing or not singing in an optimal pitch range

Here are some positive things to help keep your vocal folds healthy:
  • avoid smoky areas (restaurants, at home, etc)
  • DRINK LOTS OF WATER
  • avoid caffeine (it dehydrates you and your vocal folds)
  • Vocal rest**

**Vocal rest means NO TALKING.  Whispering is actually worse for your vocal folds than talking.  If you have a "hoarse voice" I suggest only talking when absolutely necessary.  When it is needed, make sure to talk and DO NOT whisper



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