The voice box contains the vocal cords and is located at the top of the airway to the lungs. When the vocal cords become inflamed or infected, they swell, which can cause hoarseness and may even obstruct the child's airway.

The most common form of laryngitis is caused by a viral infection, although it also may be caused by a bacterial infection or the common cold, bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. Common laryngitis is not normally associated with any breathing difficulty.

Several other forms of laryngitis in children— croup and epiglottitis—can lead to fatal obstruction of the respiratory tract. Other causes of laryngitis include laryngeal polyps, laryngeal paralysis, precancerous changes of the throat, malignant tumors, allergies, and trauma.


Symptoms include a recent upper respiratory infection, fatigue, hoarseness, fever, and swollen lymph nodes or glands in the neck.

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