Over the years, Marketing and Communications has developed a preferred style for the punctuation and use of many titles and terms used throughout Seattle Children’s. In conjunction with our preferred style, we use the Associated Press style, which is considered the authoritative word for journalists on the rules of grammar, punctuation and usage. For medical references, we use Stedman’s Medical Dictionary for spelling of all diseases, disorders, syndromes, etc.

The Associated Press Stylebook can be purchased at major bookstores or ordered through the Associated Press, AP News features, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020; it is also available as an online resource. Visit the Associated Press Stylebook.

Below is an alphabetical listing of style guidelines as they are applied when writing about Children’s.

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 8 names in this directory beginning with the letter A.
Academic publications, citing

Seattle Children’s follows a modified PubMed style for referencing/citing academic articles.

General rules:

Last name, then first and middle initials, with no comma separating

  • In printed materials, list all authors if there are six or fewer; list the first three authors followed by "et al." if there are seven or more.
  • For digital communications, list all authors; if space is limited, follow the guideline for print.
  • If the Seattle Children’s author(s) is not one of the first three authors listed, use ellipses between the third author and the Seattle Children’s authors.
  • Comma between author names with period after last author.

Bold the names of authors affiliated with Seattle Children's.

Article title in sentence case followed by a period (unless other punctuation is at the end of the title).

  • Link to article whenever possible.

Journal name abbreviated and italicized (use the approved PubMed abbreviations and followed by a period.

Year (and abbreviated month if there is one) then a semi-colon for edition, then colon for pages. No spaces before or after semi-colons and colons.

Print Example:

Speltz ML, Kapp-Simon KA, Cunningham M, et al. Single-suture craniosynostosis: a review of neurobehavioral research and theory. J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Dec;29(8):651-68.

Online Example:

Speltz ML, Kapp-Simon KA, Cunningham M, Marsh J, Dawson G, Fisch-Coydan JJ, Lukoff BD. Single-suture craniosynostosis: a review of neurobehavioral research and theory. J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Dec;29(8):651-68.

Ellipses Example:

Homayounfar N, Park SS, Afsharinejad Z,…Cunningham ML. Single-suture craniosynostosis: a review of neurobehavioral research and theory. J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Dec;29(8):651-68.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

On first reference, use the entire name, followed by the acronym or abbreviation in parentheses. On subsequent references, use only the acronym.

Example: An echocardiogram (ECG) is a painless test. We give 20 ECGs a day.

Addresses, style of

For U.S. Mail: DO NOT use periods in addresses on mail to be sent through the U.S. postal system.

Example: Seattle Children’s M/S X-XXXX PO Box 5371 Seattle, WA 98145-5005

In Print: Abbreviate compass points when part of a numbered address, but do not use periods (e.g., NE, SE, etc.).

Example: Seattle Children’s physical address is 4800 Sand Point Way NE

Use abbreviations for Ave., St., Blvd., etc., only with a numbered address; spell out when used with street name only.

Example: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but Pennsylvania Avenue

Always use figures for address numbers.

Example: 4800 Sand Point Way NE

  • Always use numerals for ages.
  • Use hyphens when using age as a descriptor before a noun or as a substitute for a noun.
  • When necessary for clinical accuracy, use fractions to indicate partial years.

The boy is 5
The 5-year-old boy
The 5-year-old
An appointment is needed at age 5 1/2.

When expressing an age range, use "to" in a sentence or a title and a hyphen when showing ages in a list.

The game is appropriate for children 8 to 11
The game is appropriate for:
Children 8-12
Teens 13-17

It's also OK to use a construction such as "children under age 5" or "children age 10 and older" to indicate a range.

Incorrect: Do not use references to "aged," (e.g., “Children aged 10 and older.").

Ampersand, &, use of

Do not use ampersands (&) in place of the word “and” unless it is part of a formal name, such as U.S. News & World Report. Seattle Children’s does not use ampersands in the names of programs and services.

Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center opened in 2010.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Seattle Children’s one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation.
Incorrect: Scott & Jim went to the store.

Apostrophes, use of

Apostrophes are used in only two cases: to signify that a letter has been omitted (contractions) and to signify possession.

It’s a random occurrence, but there’s a reason for everything.
The dog’s dish of water was spilled by the child.
Incorrect: Its not funny when someone falls.
Incorrect: The photo’s are for sale.

Area, or zone, names

Each area of the hospital is called a “zone." The zone names are Forest, River, Mountain and Ocean. Each has a unique icon and artwork. Always capitalize the name of the zone; the word “zone” is not capitalized.

Example: River zone

Autism spectrum disorder

First use: autism spectrum disorder; subsequent use: autism
Do not use autistic or ASD
In headlines or social posts where brevity is paramount, it is OK to use autism.